Aluminium Dross Recycled into Fertilizer in New Zealand

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27 October 2011

Taha Asia Pacific Ltd, the New Zealand subsidiary of Bahrain based Taha International Corporation has opened a new Aluminium Dross recycling facility in Bluff, New Zealand.

Dross is a mass of solid impurities floating on a molten metal. It is not entirely waste material; aluminium dross, for example, can be recycled and is used in secondary steelmaking for slag deoxidation.

Taha claims to have developed an environmentally sensitive, efficient, and cost-effective process to separate aluminium from dross, and produce fertilizer from the aluminium oxide residue.

To achieve this, the company says that it employs a Hot Dross Processing System, whereby the majority of metal is recovered without the need for additional energy or additives. The depleted dross is separated by mechanical means - a process which extracts fine metal particles. What remains is a high grade mineral, known as aluminium oxide.

The extracted metal is then processed even further in a specialised furnace to ensure that the client receives the highest possible return. According to Taha, hot dross processing saves energy and greatly increases metal recovery without the use of toxic chemicals and salts.

The aluminium oxide is then converted into various products but it is mainly used in the manufacture of mineral fertilizer, that the company says already has international approvals and certification in Germany and the European Union.

The facility has begun processing dross that the smelter produces, as well as treating dross that is stored in landfill. What remains is high-grade aluminium oxide, which is further processed by another company, Taha Fertilizer Industries, which converts it into mineral fertilizer.

Taha Fertilizer Industries is scheduled to begin operations in November. According to the company, it will test and analyse fertilizer blends, and will create custom product to suit individual crops and locations.

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