Coperion’s automatically operating pot feeding technology

Coperion GmbH, Weingarten/Germany, successfully supplied and commissioned their automatically operating DURODENSE® pot feeding technology at pot line 1 in the smelter of Dubai Aluminium (DUBAL)/United Arab Emirates. The system supplies primary and secondary alumina to 64 cells of the DUBAL D18 and D18+ reduction cell technology (Fig.). It replaces the regular crane feeding operation increasing its disposability for other operations, saving labour and avoiding dust emissions to the environment. With this Coperion complements DUBAL’s undertaking to retrofit their older potlines to optimize energy consumption with higher efficiency and reduced Perfluorcarbone emissions being environmentally par with other advanced technologies. With this project, Coperion – the specialist for Bulk Materials Handling Systems in the aluminium producing industry – has proven once again to be the competent partner for a technologically driven modernization project in the aluminium industry.

With DURODENSE®, Coperion offers a sustainable solution to supply aluminium oxide to the reduction process in aluminium smelters. It meets the requirements of new green field smelter projects and it has proofed to be versatile adaptable to demanding requirements in brown field smelter modernization projects. DURODENSE® is built of a modular system body consequently using round shaped standard piping with internal product fluidization for the most gentle product transport. Due to such slim design the routing of the system is very flexible and as a consequence the installation at and the penetration through an existing pot room wall structure is eased. This is also advantageous especially at the pot superstructure compared to other, more space requiring systems. With the utilization of standard couplings the use of standard piping minimizes problems with sealing and thermal expansion.

The DURODENSE® system has its very high operating reliability due to the following facts:

• The main distribution pipe along the pot room is constantly filled to almost 100 % with alumina. The whole system serves as an alumina buffer located close to the cells. Through this fact very high instantaneous filling rates into a cell hopper are possible. Even cell technologies with a strong fluctuating filling level in the cell hopper can be filled immediately.

• The system is equipped with a special air distribution system inside its fluidization elements. These devices assure that in case of plug formation the air can’t bypass the plug but is forced into the alumina plug and dissolves it. This is a clear advantage compared to other systems.

• The air consumption for the total system from silo to pot during normal operation is less than 0.6 to 0.7 m³/min per pot and very constant. This leads to a very low material velocity in the piping and avoids the risk of scaling. The low and constant air consumption causes a low impact on

  the gas balance of the pot room, a low impact on the gas treatment center (GTC) gas balance and a low impact on the roof emissions as well. This is a very important benefit especially for revamping projects with existing GTCs and related gas balances.

• The system does not need any sensor or actor (gates, valves) at the pots. The system is completely self-regulating. This eliminates the investment cost for sensors, actors and related cabling and control boxes compared to other existing automatic systems.

After the successful realization of the alumina and petcoke handling and storage facilities in the port of Qatalum and the bulk handling facilities in the courtyard areas of the Ma’aden smelter, Coperion now completes the material handling chain with the operation of the DURODENSE® pot feeding system in the Dubal smelter.

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