IrSTU's Nanotechcenter to process aluminum waste in nano-way
15 Jun '12
Technopark of the National Research Irkutsk State Technical University (NR IrSTU) has set up small innovation firm Nanotechcenter to develop experimental-industrial technology to process silicon and aluminum waste, portal Baikal24.Nauka reports.
As Marchmont wrote earlier, scientists of the Institute of Physics and Technology of NR IrSTU developed patented an innovative way of reclaiming solid fluorocarbon-containing wastes left over in plenty from electrolytic aluminum production. In their technology, the wastes are used as carbonaceous raw material to extract carbon nano-particles (see feature “Irkutsk: Turning Aluminum Waste into Stronger Materials” of May 2, 2012).
The technique does not only provide an ample source of efficient nano-modifiers (nanotubes) that improve strength properties and durability of an array of products like steels, ferrous and non-ferrous alloys, concrete mixes, polymer bitumen coatings, carbon-filled plastics or others. It also enables smart recycling of current production wastes and clears the way for reclaiming refuse that has been in slurry ponds or depots for years, siphoning off aluminum producers’ money for maintenance and posing a lasting threat to the environment.
The developers say with their technology nanotubes are ten times cheaper to extract compared to the international competition.
At the initial stage Nanotechcenter will process about 1 ton of waste per day, but in the future the amount will grow to 100 tons. IrSTU’s project is of great interest to large construction companies and road services in the region, as well as the global aluminum leader RUSAL.