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Perfluorocarbons are greenhouse gases and 1kg of perfluorocarbon is equivalent to 6,500–9,200kg of carbon dioxide. To avoid the anode effect during start-up, liquid bath is tapped from neighbouring pots and added to the preheated pot being started. At the same time, the anodes are pulled up; this increases the anode–cathode distance to generate enough heat to begin Page 33 © Copyright Pira International Ltd 2009 Sustainable Mineral Production Case studies normal operations. 0V, the threshold for the anode effect.
An example is the HIsmelt process developed by Rio Tinto. Vertical electrode cells in aluminium production Many vertical electrodes are suspended in the slurry electrolyte. The electrodes are alternately cathodes and anodes. Energy savings over a conventional cell configuration have been estimated at 25–30%, from a typical industry value of 15,000kWh/t to about 11,000kWh/t. Norgate et al. (2007) found that vertical electrodes also eliminate perfluorocarbon emissions from the process, leading to a 35% waste reduction in aluminium production.
Page 37 © Copyright Pira International Ltd 2009 Sustainable Mineral Production Demand outlook Consumers People are becoming more likely to buy organic food and use recycled materials, and they are more likely to care about the sustainability of the products they are using. Value and quality are still very important. If a sustainable product offers lower quality or value, consumers may buy from a company that is less focused on sustainability. The key concept is added value. Many sustainable practices add value to the product, so even if the sustainable product is more expensive, it can still sell well because of its sustainability and its higher quality.