The Next Profit Margin in The Alumina Industry-Red Mud

In the absence of new countries that can replace the decrease in aluminum demand caused by China's slowdown, the era high profit alumina is expected.
Only the complete utilization of red mud (also known as "the worldwide problem"), which is expected to bring the next profit, can be expected in the case where the alumina manufacturing process hasn't been changed for decades.

The first thing you need to know about red mud

Alumina produces approximately 1.5 tons of red clay, which has a particle size of between 0.088 and 0.25 mm, an average specific gravity of 2.7-9.0, a bulk mass density of between 0.8 and 1.00, and a melting range of 1250-1250 degC. Below is a table that shows the composition of red clay:

The Bayer method is used to produce the majority of alumina in China. The Bayer Method is characterized with high levels of iron, aluminium and alkali.

Second, a typical case of an alumina company in the use of red mud.

1. Chinalco Shandong Branch. The data available shows that in 2016, the red mud utilization rate was 25 percent. China's enterprises that produce alumina have a high utilization rate, with accumulated consumption exceeding 12 million red-mud. Henan Aluminium Industry Transformation and Growth Action Plan (2018-2010) clearly states that the comprehensive usage rate of red clay will reach 10% by 2020. No harm will come if there is no comparison. China's comprehensive utilization rate is too low. The main uses of mountain aluminum red clay are the development of new coal-burning de-sulfurizer technologies, high-grade concrete, highway subgrades and bricks.

2. Weiqiao Group, 2018: On the 5.3 km roadbed in Binzhou of Jiqing's expressway, 20,000 tonnes of red mud were applied. Estimates state that each kilometer of expressway consumes 200,000 tons, provincial highways consume 60,000 tonnes, and municipal road consumes 20,000 tonnes. Future market opportunities are wide for countries in China that have a lot of highway mileage.

Third, a typical example of social forces in the broad use of red clay

Shandong Satellite TV broadcasted a story on December 31st, 2018 about Zibo Tianzhirun Ecological Technology Co. Ltd. using large amounts of red dirt to produce permeable blocks (consuming 70,000 tons per year). The company's red-mud permeable-brick project, which has a red-mud blend rate of 90% was chosen as one of Shandong Province's top ten innovations for the circular economy in 2018. The boss invested 30 million in the project, and two of those houses were also studded.

This is not merely reminiscent of how enterprises in Inner Mongolia squandered hundreds of billions of dollars trying to crack the code on the production alumina from fly ash.

Fourth, comprehensive red mud usage recommendations

Currently, red mud is more commonly used in the production and roadbeds of bricks as well as for cement. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. There is a cement factory nearby and the consumption of roadbeds is high. The future demand for permeable blocks is low in economically developed areas. Therefore, it's possible to promote the production of these bricks nationwide. The only disadvantage is the fact that it is more cost-effective to sell bricks within 800 km.

China's red mud alumina is generally used at a very low rate. Our utilization rate may not be as low as that of other countries, but we cannot compare ourselves to foreign countries. China's alumina has entered a new era, one of self-transcendence. We are now able to make full use of red mud. The company's position will be reshaped by the profit margin in the alumina sector.

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