Acknowledging that the production of primary aluminum has an inherently large environmental footprint, Dubai Aluminum (DUBAL), the entirely state-owned enterprise that operates the world’s largest single-site primary aluminum smelter using pre-bake anode technology, consciously strives to minimize the air emissions, solid and liquid waste generated by its Jebel Ali operations.
Regarding air emissions, dedicated attention is given to reducing the volume of greenhouse gases (GHGs) released.
The power generation and smelting processes, being two major sources of GHGs, receive particular focus. Conscious effort is also invested in optimizing energy consumption levels across DUBAL’s operations, so as to minimize the combustion of fossil fuels and the associated emissions into the atmosphere.
The company’s progress in this regard was publicly recognized recently through the presentation to DUBAL of Certified Emission Reduction (CER) credits for a GHG conservation project that has been registered under the UN Clean Development Mechanism (CDM).
Abdulla Kalban, president and CEO, DUBAL, received the certificate from UAE Minister of Environment and Water Rashid Ahmad bin Fahad.
The carbon-credit project involves DUBAL’s casthouse operations, which has four melting furnaces fitted with conventional cold air burners, which are used to melt cold/hot metal at specified rates.
Cold air burners work on the principle of an air-to-gas ratio where air and gas are fed through on a proportionate basis.
These conventional cold burners will now be replaced with more energy-efficient regenerative burners during the second quarter of this year — an exercise that will reduce gas consumption — thereby lowering DUBAL’s carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
The project follows a pilot initiative whereby a regenerative burner was installed in one of the melting furnaces during 2008-2009.
Records show that the furnace’s gas consumption levels declined by 39 percent.
Commenting on this first DUBAL project to be registered under the UNFCCC CDM, Kalban said: “DUBAL endorses the widely accepted view that the most common GHG is CO2, which is therefore also the main cause of global warming and climate change.”
He said: “The installation of regenerative burners in our melting furnaces forms part of our 2015 Carbon Management Strategy and Implementation Plan, which aims to reduce the size of DUBAL’s carbon footprint.”
Kalban said: “The plan outlines how DUBAL will undertake programs to raise awareness about climate change and carbon emissions, implement systems to measure our emissions, identify carbon reduction and abatement options, and continually reduce carbon emissions from every aspect of our business using pre-determined, quantifiable targets to measure our progress.
In the past three years DUBAL has, through various initiatives, saved 900,000 tons of CO2.”
The CEO said: “We’ve also achieved a 54 percent reduction (145,000 tons) in DUBAL’s emissions of perfluorcarbon gases (PFCs) — compounds that have greenhouse gas warming potential that is up to 9,200 times greater than CO2 — over the same time frame.”
He said: “We are confident that the installation of the regenerative burners will deliver substantial results, contributing to even greater reductions in DUBAL’s CO2 emission levels.”