Natural gas anodes for aluminium electrolysis in molten fluorides
Industrial primary production of aluminium has been developed and improved over more than 100 years. The molten salt electrolysis process is still suffering from low energy efficiency and considerable emissions of greenhouse gases (CO2 and PFC). A new concept has been suggested where methane is supplied through the anode so that the CO2 emissions may be reduced significantly, the PFC emissions may be eliminated and the energy consumption may decrease significantly. Porous carbon anodes made from different graphite grades were studied in controlled laboratory experiments. The anode potential, the anode carbon consumption and the level of HF gas above the electrolyte were measured during electrolysis. In some cases it was found that the methane oxidation was effectively participating in the anode process.