|New Aluminium Recovery Process Invented
by Geoff Miller
Photography: David Mansell
A process that recovers and recycles almost all of the waste residue - dross - from aluminium furnaces has been developed in Britain.
The method was invented by Jesse Brough Metals, a manufacturer of high quality aluminium castings, based in Staffordshire, the centre of Britain's aluminium production region.
Previously only about 30% of furnace dross has been recovered. The rest, being of no use to producers. is routinely tipped into landfill sites. The invention is likely to capitalise on rising landfill costs. growing environmental concerns and stricter ecological management in the future.
The environmental benefits of keeping aluminium waste out of landfills is proving of interest to foundries and environmentalists in the UK and abroad. Although other companies reclaim aluminium from dross, none is known to recycle the remaining elements to achieve practically no waste.
Four processing steps make up the ecological reclamation system. First, the dross is crushed. After that the prepared material is fed into a rotary furnace of specific size and design to extract the highest yield of residual aluminium.
Next, quality metal is drawn off in its molten state either to ingots or into casting pots for immediate use if required. Finally, the remaining oxides, granules, powders and fluxes are graded and blended to become 'JBM Kingsilver' grits, which have a number of uses, some being valuable in the production of steel.
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