MSSI/Ul Hosts Major European Partnership To Address Environmental Impact Of Alumina Production
A major European partnership BRAVO co-ordinated by the University of Limerick seeks to address the environmental challenges of alumina production waste. BRAVO which stands for “Bauxite Residue and Aluminium Valorisation Operations” is one of the largest commitments of its kind with over 30 partner members including large Industry, SMEs, leading Universities and Institutes throughout Ireland and the EU.
Co-ordinator, Dr Lisa O’Donoghue, Department of Design and Manufacturing Technology, explains: “Alumina processing creates a waste by-product called bauxite residue (red mud) which is normally landfilled. It is estimated that globally there is currently over 2.7 billion tonnes of bauxite residue stored in landfill and this is estimated to increase by 120 million tonnes annually. There is however a huge potential to re-use this material as a valuable raw material for other industries such as electronics cement and ceramics. This partnership has been set up to address a serious environmental issue while also providing the opportunity to generate spin-off industries in the alternative supply of key materials for the European market.”
Ireland houses one of Europe’s largest alumina refineries in Co Limerick (Rusal Aughinish) with an annual production capacity of 2 million tonnes, employing 450 people. The refinery produces approximately 1 million tonnes of residue annually, making BRAVO a highly relevant partnership for Rusal for bauxite residue management and the opportunity to turn this waste in a potential resource.
BRAVO will work with its 31 partners to foster international co-operation to undertake this challenge as well as promote socially acceptable and environmentally responsible technologies.
BRAVO partners include: University of Limerick (Co-ordinators), Ceinnmat (Spain), International Aluminium Institute (UK), Rusal (Ireland), Ecocem (France), Aristotle University of Thessaloniki (Greece), Tecnicas Reunidas (Spain), Universitat Politecnica de Valencia (Spain), Aidico (Spain), Votechnik (Ireland), Geonardo (Hungary), Tecnalia (Spain), Trinity College Dublin (Ireland), Fraunhofer (Germany), Loser Chemie (Germany), National Technical University of Athens (Greece), BRGM (France), Environment Protection Agency (Ireland), Acciona (Spain), University of Hull (UK), Sintef (Norway), Enval (UK), Hydro Aluminium (Norway), TU Bergakademie Freiberg (Germany), UC Rusal Engineering and Technology Centre LLC (Russia), Euromine (Belgium), Alteo Gardanne (France), National Agency for New technologies, Energy and Sustainable Development (Italy), European Aluminum Association, Universita di Napoli (Italy), and Rio Tinto (France).
The picture shows: The Living Bridge, University of Limerick