Saturday, January 19, 2008
January 17, 2008 Hindalco Alumina factory
After going to Kles Hopital, we went to an alumina factory. Here they take Bauxite ore and convert it into alumina which is a white powder that is a stage just before aluminum. We saw they pile or raw ore and lots of tubes, pipes, buildings, and tanks. Unfortunately, since it is mostly an enclosed chemical process, we weren’t able to see much of the reduction of the ore to alumina. They showed us a presentation (with more biscuits and tea) of how the process works. The resulting red mud that is left over is caustic and put into hills then treated with something to neutralize it, doused with nutrients, and finally plants with grasses to reduce the dust. They have local wells that are tested periodically to ensure it isn’t getting into the ground water and any new red mud ponds and hills must have a liner under them. Apparently the underlying rock bed is so hard that it is impermeable and they haven’t had any problems. I liked the conveyor belt they had to carry the ore to the crusher. It was really long (you can only see a small portion, maybe ¼ of the length, in the photo) and had a curve in it. I was told that some belts (not the one I saw) can curve right up into a tube to prevent spillage. This factory has one of the highest safety ratings and has won many awards for their records. Need I say that more biscuits and tea were to follow?