The Open Innovation Research Cluster

for Non-Ferrous Metals at RWTH Aachen University

Project 5

Sustainable Recycling Concept: Efficient Melting

Motivation and Target

There is a permanent need for improvement of technological processes regarding energy efficiency and environmental sustainability. Within this project a collaborative network of researchers from university and the aluminium industry will work on topics to improve the recycling process of aluminium. One of the major targets is to develop a thermodynamics and CFD based model of aluminium recycling furnaces. This includes the understanding of liquid / gas reactions as well as the fluid flow and the thermal conditions during melting.

Main Research Topics

  • Gas reactions (pyrolysis and combustion)
  • CFD furnace model Combustion Heat Transfer
  • Melt flow
  • Reaction kinetics
  • Phase change
  • Dross formation related to scrap input/solid liquid interactions
  • Dross formation depending on organic residues / gas liquid interactions

Research Partners

The international project consortium consists of four industry partners: Aleris, Constellium, Hydro, Trimet and two institutes of RWTH Aachen: Process Metallurgy and Metal Recycling IME and Industrial Furnaces and Heat Engineering IOB.

Figure 1 : FEM simulation of heat transition
Figure 2 : CFD simulation of the flow in a Lab Scale Furnace
Figure 3 : CFD simulation of the flow in a Lab Scale Furnace
Figure 4 : principle sketch of the processes in an Al recycling furnace
Figure 5 : sawed aluminum scrap package