China's Aluminum Industry Still Needs to Make Vigorous Progress

Release time:2022-03-01    Click:60

As we all know, aluminum is not only the basic raw material of the national economy, but also the national strategic reserve material; At the same time, aluminum plays an indispensable and extremely important role in today's and future world economic development, which will benefit human society more.

This is because aluminum is a young, widely used and new light metal. By 2021, it will have only 133 years of industrial production and application. With the industrial production and application of aluminum, aluminum has brought profound changes to the world: the shuttle of aircraft, the space travel of spacecraft, the vertical and horizontal of high-voltage and ultra-high-voltage transmission circuits, the high-speed and convenient water and land transportation, safe and reliable food packaging, exquisite and comfortable high-rise buildings, various machine manufacturing with excellent and wide applications, modern industrial electrical and household appliances, the strength of modern national defense and so on. It is no exaggeration to say that aluminum is changing the world while creating one miracle after another and playing an extremely important role in the progress of human society.

However, in this short 133 years, the world aluminum industry has also experienced the banking crisis in 1907, the economic crisis from 1929 to 1933, the "Machel plan" from 1948 to 1949, the oil crisis from 1973 to 1975, the second oil crisis from 1979, the subprime mortgage crisis from 2008 to 2010, and the European sovereign debt crisis from 2010. It has also experienced the baptism of two world wars and many local wars, As well as the impact of the world's fourth energy crisis and the Russian Ukrainian war, the development of the world aluminum industry has undergone profound changes that can be described as life and death, magnificent and shocking.

There is no doubt that with the hard work of several generations of Chinese aluminum industry people, China's aluminum industry has made great achievements that have attracted the attention of the world: China has experienced from scratch and from small to large since the early days of liberation. So far, it has developed into the world's largest aluminum industry country and established a complete aluminum industry chain and its guarantee system. By the end of 2021, China's alumina output, raw aluminum output, aluminum processing output, recycled aluminum output, aluminum industry supporting aluminum carbon output, fluoride output and caustic soda output are ranked as the largest country in the world. China's primary aluminum output has ranked first in the world for 21 consecutive years, with a cumulative aluminum output of about 4240.4 million tons, accounting for about 27.65% of the global cumulative primary aluminum output. The rapid development and great achievements of China's aerospace industry, transportation industry (including high-speed railway, autoMobile, ship, etc.), complete machinery manufacturing industry, rapidly developing construction industry, powerful power industry, and continuously developing agriculture and food packaging industry all reflect the indispensable and important role of aluminum. China's aluminum industry has made outstanding contributions to the development of the national economy, the construction of national defense and the improvement of people's living standards. It has also made due contributions to the development of the world economy and the progress of human society.

In terms of the overall development and status of China's aluminum industry, whether from the mining and beneficiation of bauxite, the production of alumina and electrolytic aluminum, as well as aluminum processing, recycled aluminum, supporting fluorine salts, carbon anodes and cathodes, and related machinery manufacturing... The author believes that China's aluminum industry as a whole belongs to the world's largest aluminum industry and is in the world's advanced ranks. It is relatively objective. It is debatable to be a world leader, Mainly reflected in:

1. China's bauxite is mainly divided into two types - sedimentary type and accumulation type. In terms of bauxite mining, the overall technology needs to be improved, the equipment is backward, and there is a mess of waste.

2. The energy consumption of alumina production in China is still far from the world's leading level. According to the statistics of the world Aluminum Association, in 2020, the average unit energy consumption of alumina in China was 10349MJ, while the average unit energy consumption of alumina in South America was 8277MJ, with a difference of 2072MJ.

3. In terms of electrolytic aluminum, China is not the world's first 600kA prebaked cell series production technology, and the main technical and economic indicators of China's current long-term production of 600ka series need to be further stabilized and improved, which is still far from the world's leading level. It should be said that the industrial application of large 600kA prebaked cells in China belongs to the advanced level of the same era with the world's advanced countries. In 2013, the complete set of aluminum electrolysis technology of the former French pisch pinch was applied to Rio Tinto's aluminum smelter in Canada. It is the first time in the world to build 600ka aluminum electrolytic cell series, and its main technical and economic indicators are more advanced.

4. The relevant equipment level of aluminum electrolysis in China needs to be improved. For example, there are some deficiencies in the comprehensive performance of multi-functional combined units, aluminum production equipment, pole changing operation and transfer bus device, lining materials of aluminum reduction cells and furnace building methods, and there is still a certain gap compared with the world advanced level.

5. China's key aluminum processing equipment mainly depends on imports, especially large extrusion equipment and high-performance calendering equipment. For example, China lacks high-performance super large aluminum alloy casting and precise control technology and equipment, large extruders, high-performance rolling mills, forging presses with larger tonnage, etc.

6. China still has short boards in high-end aluminum processing products, such as China's production technology of ultra-high purity aluminum (aluminum content above 99.9999%), production technology and products of ultra-high voltage electronic capacitor aluminum foil, high-strength cast alloy bars with a diameter of more than 1m and a length of more than 10m, aluminum alloy rivets for aircraft wings, etc.

7. China's recycled aluminum industry is developing rapidly, but there is still a gap between the improvement and scientificity of waste aluminum recovery system, the sorting technology of complex mixed waste aluminum, the rational utilization technology of various waste aluminum, high-efficiency and low consumption smelting technology and the world's advanced level.

8. From the whole industrial chain of bauxite, alumina, electrolytic aluminum, aluminum processing and recycled aluminum in China's aluminum industry, its key detection devices rely on imports, such as x-diffractometer, X-fluorescence analyzer and electron scanning microscope used in the whole industry.

9. China's supporting carbon industry and fluoride industry need to be further improved, especially in terms of equipment and environmental protection.

10. China's aluminum industry needs to pay attention to and strengthen tackling key problems in resource utilization and waste solid treatment. For example, there are some problems in bauxite mining, such as waste and disorder, low utilization rate of red mud, imperfect treatment of aluminum electrolytic cell lining, backward treatment of salt slag of recycled aluminum, or even no treatment at all. There is a certain gap compared with the advanced level of developed countries in the world.


To sum up, China's aluminum industry has a long way to go. The whole industry still needs to continue to forge ahead, do not forget its original intention, solve the prominent problems existing in the aluminum industry, focus on the urgent needs of the sustainable development of the aluminum industry, comply with the trend of technological progress, promote the transformation and upgrading of economic structure, meet the growing needs of the people for a beautiful ecological environment, and promote the harmonious coexistence between man and nature, Strengthen the in-depth research on the difficulties, pain points and bottlenecks existing in the whole industry, organize and mobilize the forces of the whole society, make solid and vigorous progress, truly make China's aluminum industry a world power as soon as possible, and make contributions worthy of the times to the progress of all mankind, the prosperity of the country and the great rejuvenation of the nation!


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