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news & trends Indian bauxite, alumina confer- and hopes eventually to expand to the ence showcases innovations BRIC nations. The group’s first meeting, held with and new Asian organization support from over 70 institutions and newly minted International Bauxite, well in the ceramics community, such (Credit: IBAAS.)businesses (including many knownThe inaugural conference of the Alumina and Aluminium Society as Ace Calderys, Almatis, Aluchem, (IBAAS) was held in Nagpur, India, Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd., Central ly inferior grade” bauxite to make in early December, and several note- Glass and Ceramic Research Institute, extremely hard ceramic tiles. “The worthy developments came out of that IFGL Bioceramics Ltd., Jyoti Ceramics, hardness has been brought by blend- meeting. Panalytical, Rio Tinto, Saint Gobain, ing other industrial wastes like fly ash The IBAAS was established only SKG Refractories, and The Indian and iron ore tailings to make the new earlier this year. The group’s website Ceramic Society) was cosponsored ceramic. It can be used as a lining in indicates that it was launched with a by the Jawaharlal Nehru Aluminium hoppers and chutes used in steel plants particular focus on supporting busi- Research Development and Design and coal washeries. It helps prevent nesses and research in Asia. IBAAS Centre, and was held December 3-5. corrosion and abrasion,” Swapan Kumar notes the competitive and regulatory Besides technical papers in scientific Das, chief scientist at refractories divi- challenges to the field that underlined sessions, the conference had special sion in CGCRI, explains to the news- the society’s formation: sessions on “processing innovations paper. The institute has a history of “The bauxite, alumina, and alumi- in aluminum ceramics” and “new and working with alumina, and its uses in num industry is developing at a fairly emerging application of alumina ceram- membranes, tubing, and bioceramics. good pace in the world and spec- ics.” The meeting seems to have gotten Another meeting development drew tacular growth is visible in China, quite a bit of publicity in India, and considerable interest: A Canadian India, and Brazil. Several other coun- the Times of India reported that the company, Orbite Aluminae Inc., tries like Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, symposium also served as a platform for announced that it has pioneered an Indonesia, and Guinea are proposing researchers and industry “to work out unconventional source of alumina. to invest huge amounts into develop- plans for metallurgical bauxite and spe- Again according to a story in the ment of the vast resources of bauxite. cial alumina products.” Times, OAI says that instead of using “While the downstream industry Several developments announced bauxite, it can efficiently use aluminous is facing the challenge of technol- at the meeting are worth noting. The clay or clay rich in alumina and silica ogy upgradation and high invest- first comes from the Central Glass and to produce extremely pure alumina. ment costs, the upstream industry is Ceramic Research Institute (CGCRI), The company says its methods also are constantly under the threat of ever- which says it has developed a process environmentally friendly. changing regulatory laws with respect to convert extremely inferior grade OAI says it succeeded for the first to mining, social development, and bauxite into refractory grade bauxite. time in achieving a one-ton-per-day technology, besides the need for a CGCRI says its process removes impu- production rate of purified alumina in huge investment in infrastructure for rities, such as calcium oxide, titanium early 2011. That was apparently on the mining, refining, and smelting oxide, and iron oxide from bauxite. a prototype-production basis, but the operations. The institute says it uses certain natural company says that it will launch a one- “It is strongly felt that an organiza- materials that selectively absorb these ton-per-day plant in January 2013 in tion is specifically needed to focus on impurities and effectively increases the Quebec. OAI says this alumina initially these issues and work in the field of melting point to 1,600°C. will be used in LED production, not bauxite geology, mining, beneficia- In an interview with the Times, aluminum. tion, alumina refining and aluminum CGCRI’s Anup Ghosh says, “We have Besides bauxite, OAI says it can pro- smelting technology particularly in converted the low-melting-point phase cess red mud and fly ash, and says that Asian region. A group of leading bauxite into high-temperature phase. the method also generates rare earth scientists, engineers, managers and This can be used even in steel melting elements. The company says its vision experts in this line have set up a reg- process.” Institute leaders report that is to build high-purity alumina plants istered society IBAAS to promote this they have received industrial support to across North America. It hopes to start industry in this part of the world.” scale up the technology to at least one- producing smelter-grade alumina by IBAAS says it is initially giving ton capacity. 2015 and eventually to have ten plants special attention to India, China, Separately, CGCRI also announced in Quebec alone. Vietnam, Saudi Arabia, and UAE, that it has succeeded in using “extreme- Visit: www.ibaas.info n 8 www.ceramics.org | American Ceramic Society Bulletin, Vol. 92, No. 1


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