Bravo Working to Pioneer State of the Art Technology
The University of Limerick is playing a key role in developing the next wave of leading edge research with aluminium value chain partners.
BRAVO, a UL led European consortium of research organisations and enterprise, will work with Aughinish Alumina and over €1.3m in total funding for the Added Value Alumina Refining (AVAR) project, a process and feasibility examination to look at the potential for a pilot build of technology ‘on site’ for critical metal recovery from Bauxite Residue.
The manufacture of aluminium, used in many everyday products, creates various waste streams on its journey from raw material to final product. In Ireland, the part of the value chain that is most familiar is Bauxite Residue known as red mud which results from alumina refining. Landfill residue facilities are used in Western Europe to dispose of the residue with minimal environmental risks.
BRAVO is currently looking at how this ‘waste material’ can be re-used on-site for commercial purpose. Dr Lisa O’Donoghue, BRAVO Coordinator explains, “AVAR proposes to recover Critical Raw Materials from the bayer liquors in bauxite residue through a unique process – an application of combined techniques to yield a high quality and volume of high value metals. Those materials will be suitable for every day applications including manufacturing metals and alloys that go back into our cars, aeroplanes, buildings and ICT equipment such as PC s and laptops”. The raw material metals are also used as alloying elements to improve physical and mechanical projects of bulk metals as well as coatings and thin films for ICT sector applications.