Aluminium smelter are energy intensive and not particularly energy efficient, as most of the energy required to produce aluminium is lost along the production line. This is the reason why it is mandatory to perform a detailed analysis of the thermal wastes produced in these factories. The main objective of this project is to investigate the solutions to recover the thermal wastes and to convert them into useful power.
Rio Tinto operates aluminium plants in Saguenay that are powered by their hydroelectric system. An efficient management of water available in the system is primordial to ensure energy supply to the aluminium smelters. This quantity is uncertain since the exact inflows in the reservoirs are unknown when decisions are taken. Stochastic optimization is used to make decisions under uncertainty. Mid-term optimization models determine reservoir volumes while short-term models dispatch the available water as efficiently as possible between the power plants and turbines in the system.
Atmospheric acid emissions are increasing in north coastal British Columbia from increased metallurgical smelting, marine fossil fuel transport, and development of liquefied natural gas. Acid deposition can cause episodic acidification of streams when acidic compounds are flushed into streams after snowmelt and precipitation events over hours to weeks. Many salmon-bearing coastal streams are likely sensitive to episodic acidification, but these events are poorly quantified in western Canada.
Electromagnetic (EM) methods are commonly used for geophysical exploration in various applications such as mineral exploration, hydrocarbon detection, management of fresh and salt water and CO2 and reservoir monitoring. While in the past, EM methods suffered from expensive data collection, new systems now collect massive amounts of data over space and time, and new instrumentation allows for higher quality and accuracy of the data.
Rio Tinto Alcan, the industrial partner of this project, is slowly faced a challenge to produce AA1XXX DC cast ingots with much higher impurity levels than before. The present project is aimed to investigate the influence of impurity elements, particularly V levels, on the fir-tree zone and its related Fe-rich intermetallic phase selection.