Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Plant (KrAZ) — photo report

Report Vadim Mahorova


Aluminium is present in our lives, only about one and a half centuries, but in that short period of time to go from a decorative metal’s favorite jewelers, to a material which allows us to move faster, to live in warmth and comfort, enjoy all the benefits of modernity and exploring worlds around.

Aluminium — the most abundant metal on Earth, its share of the earth’s crust is up to 8.8%. However, aluminum mines do not exist. Due to its reactivity aluminum hardly found in free form — suitable for industrial production of only a few of its containing minerals and rocks.

In this post I’ll show you how to make aluminum one of the largest aluminum smelters in the world.

1. Aluminum production at KrAZ

There is a legend which says that once the Roman Emperor Tiberius (42 BC. E. — ’37 BC. E.) Came jeweler with a metal, unbreakable dinner plates, allegedly made from alumina (Al2O3). The plate was very light and shone like silver. By all indications, it should be aluminum. In this case, the jeweler claimed that only he and the gods know how to get the metal out of clay. Tiberius, fearing that the metal is easily accessible from the clay can devalue gold and silver, ordered just in case the jeweler to cut off his head.

Only about 2,000 years after Tiberius, in 1825, the Danish physicist Hans Christian Oersted got a few milligrams of aluminum metal, and in 1827, Friedrich Wohler was able to pick out grains of aluminum, which, however, the air immediately covered with a thin film of aluminum oxide.

Next Henri Sainte-Claire Deville, which funded the research, Napoleon III, the first to come up with a way to industrial production of aluminum and got the first bar weighing about 7 kg. Deville started producing aluminum factory brothers Tissier in Rouen. During the day, the plant was producing two kilograms of aluminum. In 1857, a kilogram of the metal was worth 300 francs. In those years, a room for a month in Paris can be rented for 20 francs.

Beginning of the modern mode of production of aluminum laid method, invented almost simultaneously in 1886 by Charles Hall in the U.S. and Paul Heroult in France and based on the production of aluminum by electrolysis of alumina dissolved in molten cryolite. Since then, the improvement in electrical engineering, aluminum production was improved. A significant contribution to the development of the production of alumina Russian scientists made KI Bayer, DA Penyakov, A. Kuznetsov, E. Zhukovsky, AA Yakovkin etc.

2. The cells, working on technologies for environmental Soderbergh

The date of birth of the Russian aluminum industry is considered to be May 14, 1932, when the Volkhov plant in the Leningrad region received the first batch of metal. A year later, the first production released Dnieper Aluminium Plant in Ukraine. …. In order not to outline the text, I advise you to read online RUSAL the history of the Russian aluminum industry.

3. Using a vacuum ladle taken from aluminum electrolysis

At the moment, the leader of the global aluminum industry is RUSAL (United Company "Russian Aluminum"). Products exported to 70 countries around the world. The company consists of bauxite and nepheline ore mines, alumina, aluminum, alloy, aluminum foil and packaging materials based on it, as well as power. United Company RUSAL accounts for about 12.5% of global production of aluminum and 16% of alumina, which is provided by a processing capacity to produce 3.9 mlntonn 10.6 mlntonn aluminum and alumina. The company was established in March 2007 through the merger of Rusal, Sual and the alumina assets of Glencore. In UC RUSAL employs 100 000 people. The combined company is present in 17 countries on 5 continents.

Krasnoyarsk Aluminium Smelter RUSAL just belongs. KrAZ — the second largest aluminum producer in the world, as well as the main platform for field testing and introduction of innovative RUSAL. The production capacity of KrAZ — 1 million tons of aluminum per year (about 24% of Russian and 2.4% of world production of aluminum). In the production plant consists of 25 komlpeks electrolysis (electrolytic 2233), 3 casting department, and the production of anode paste.

4. In 2011, KrAZ aluminum produced more than Braz, which is the largest aluminum producer in the world

Aluminum production is extremely energy intensive. Therefore, the aluminum plants built mainly in areas where there is free access to powerful sources of energy. In our case, this is a source of Krasnoyarsk HPP installed capacity of 6000 MW. Today it is the most powerful hydroelectric power station in Russia (as long as the Sayano-Shushenskaya HPP is under construction.) Krasnoyarsk aluminum plant consumes about 70% of the total volume of electricity produced by hydropower.

5. The pot, which produces aluminum

Aluminum is made from alumina, which in turn is derived mainly from bauxite (sometimes from nepheline ores), which stocks on the earth are almost limitless. That is, at KrAZ we can only see the final stage of production — reduction of aluminum through the Hall-Heroult process. It is based on the following principle: the electrolysis solution alumina in molten cryolite (Na3AlF6), pure aluminum. The bottom of the pot serves as the cathode, and carbon bars immersed in the cryolite — anodes. Under sodium cryolite with 3-5% alumina deposited molten aluminum. Thus the process temperature reaches 955 ° C, which is considerably above the melting point of the metal — 660 ° C.

The distance between the anode and cathode of 5.5 — 6.5 cm, the so-called pole gap, that there is a reduction reaction of aluminum.

6. Vacuum buckets can take at a time from 3 to 5 tons of hot metal

At the smelter in 2004-2009 were upgraded, which will significantly increase the efficiency and reduce the amount of harmful substances emissions. Now undergoing the second phase of modernization, which is in the phase-transfer capacity of the enterprise to technology "Eco-Soderbergh," just can significantly reduce the impact on the environment.

All electrolytic Soderbergh equipped APG system (automatic feed alumina to the cell), it increased the automation of the production process and improve the environment in buildings. Just installed the system dry scrubbing, which provided maximum recovery of fluoride equation — up to 99%.

7. The daily capacity of the plant 2725 tons

8. At the smelter was put into operation only in the Russian case with electrolyzers AVCH (prod
uction of high-purity aluminum).

9. Clean ultrapure metals — 99.996%. It is used in the production of computer hard drives, mobile phones and other electronic equipment, as well as in the aerospace and defense industries. The main supplies of aluminum with KrAZ go to Asia, Japan and the United States.

10. The voltage applied to the cell is only 4.5 V, but the current huge — 174300 A

11. If in cases of Soderbergh is getting aluminum from alumina, the raw material AVCH housing is a dirty aluminum. Simply put, technical aluminum passes secondary treatment, which makes it ultra clean. Performance of a single cell AVCH — 600 kg day

12. KrAZ is the world’s factory, which uses just three aluminum production — electrolyzers Soderberg AVCH and electrolysis with the deification of anodes.

13. In contrast to the cells, which run on the Soderberg technology, the technology of production of aluminum using pre-baked anode is characterized by lower energy costs and the impact on the environment.

14. Every body is a complex KrAZ gas treatment equipment installed in the first phase of ecological modernization.

15. Collection efficiency gas purification of harmful substances — 99.9%.


17. I wrote above that the production complex includes 3 KrAZ casting department. The following photos from the casting department number 3, which makes among the longest in the world of aluminum ingots.

18. Mixer 100 tons of metal, wherein the alloy is being prepared. Mixer in fact — it’s a big pot, which in addition to the primary metal added to the ingredients — dopants. The result is a high-quality aluminum alloy.

19. Low metal mixer over 800 degrees


21. Fill metal mixer

22. KrAZ confined to production of high-tech products. For example, the plant is now developing the production of so-called flat ingots. These are widely demanded in the market of packaging materials needed for the production of lithographic plates and body panels of cars.

As part of the modernization of the foundry department of the enterprise has earned a unique casting machine, which began to produce ingots double length — 11.5 m Made it now alloys are used in the production of foil. Moreover, this bullion-record holders. Such long aluminum ingot has not issued even a single plant in the world.

23. In 2012, the factory has introduced a new product leaders of the global automotive industry. For example, Japanese corporations Toyota and Mitsubishi ordered alloys to enhance the performance characteristics of their cars. Krazovtsy proposed metal, providing engine components and rims and strength, and ductility. Advanced alloys for the production of foil ordered a well-known European car rental companies — Novelis and Hydro.




That’s all. Thank KrAZ press service for an interesting tour of the plant.

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