Abu Dhabi Property Guide

EGA’s Bauxite Residue Pilot Plant Likely To Start Operations In 2024

Emirates Global Aluminium (EGA) has stated that its bauxite residue pilot plant in Al Taweelah, Abu Dhabi, is expected to be completed this year.

The plant, with a production capacity of up to 6 tonnes/day, will convert bauxite residue, which is a by-product of alumina refining, into manufactured soil, which EGA calls ‘Turba’ (the Arabic word for soil).

The Al Taweelah alumina refinery, with a 2 million tonnes per year nameplate capacity, converts bauxite into alumina feedstock for aluminium smelters, according to EGA’s website.

EGA said the pilot facility will enable trials to test on a large scale the enhanced plant growth witnessed during laboratory-scale trials while using less water and fertiliser. These trials have also indicated that Tuba may have up to 10 times better CO2 absorption properties than the UAE’s natural soil.

The UAE has limited naturally occurring soil and imports significant quantities each year for greening and agricultural purposes.

EGA’s bauxite residue research team has already developed other potential novel applications for bauxite residue, including as a raw material for the steel, cement, and construction industries.

An estimated 150 million tonnes of bauxite residue waste are produced worldwide each year posing a waste management challenge.

As part of its zero waste to landfill long-term programme, EGA has developed re-uses for other waste streams. These include spent pot lining, a by-product of aluminium smelting, which is re-used as an alternative feedstock and fuel by the cement industry; carbon dust, which is used as a fuel in cement manufacturing, and dross processing to recover aluminium.