Minister of Climate Change and Environment visits EGA for inspection…



Emirates Global Aluminum welcomed Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, to review the progress in the construction of a pilot plant to convert bauxite residue into manufacturing soil.

Bauxite residue, a byproduct of alumina refining, has been a global waste management challenge since the dawn of aluminum over a century ago. Approximately 150 million tons of this substance are produced worldwide each year, and less than 2% is used productively, according to industry experts. Through nearly a decade of scientific research and development, EGA has developed a unique process for recycling bauxite residue.

EGA Chief Executive Officer Abdulnasser bin Kalban received His Excellency and his delegation at the EGA headquarters in Al Taweera.

EGA’s pilot plant uses proprietary technology to convert caustic bauxite residue into an environmentally friendly raw material in hours, instead of going through a decades-long natural process. This optimized bauxite residue is the main component of the manufactured soil, which EGA calls “Turba” (meaning soil in Arabic).

The UAE has limited naturally occurring soil and imports significant amounts each year for greening and agricultural purposes. Soil is considered a non-renewable resource because it takes centuries to develop naturally even in the most favorable climate.

Soil is the world’s largest above-ground CO2 storage facility, absorbing up to 20 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. This role is threatened by soil erosion around the world. Initial research and laboratory-scale testing indicates that EGA’s Turba may have CO2 absorption properties that are up to 10 times better than the UAE’s natural soils.

Dr. Amna bint Abdullah Al Dahak, Minister of Climate Change and Environment“The health of our planet is inextricably linked to the health of our soils. As we face the pressing challenge of climate change, we must take steps to support the important role that soils play in reducing atmospheric CO2.” MOCCAE welcomes the efforts of companies like EGA to invest in sustainable soil management practices, foster innovation, and advance sustainable solutions. EGA’s Pilot Plant We are pleased to have had the opportunity to review the construction progress. The world’s environmental problems require innovative solutions, and companies like EGA play an important role in finding them. He is one of the UAE champions.”

Abdulnasser bin Kalban, CEO of Emirates Global Aluminum“It was a pleasure to brief the Minister on EGA’s progress on Turba, an innovative solution to reuse bauxite residues as manufacturing soil.” Our long-term goal is to reduce the amount of process waste sent to landfill. We are making great progress. Bauxite residue is our industry’s most challenging waste stream, and we believe we are close to solving this problem. We look forward to seeing sustainable industrial soils produced on an industrial scale for a better tomorrow. ”

During his visit, His Excellency planted trees in Turba’s demonstration plot next to EGA’s headquarters.

EGA’s pilot plant is expected to be completed in 2024. Once operational, the facility will produce up to 6 tons of optimized bauxite residue per day. This plant will demonstrate the potential to industrialize EGA’s innovative process and enable large-scale trials to test plant growth on Turba. Lab-scale trials have already shown that Turba boosts plant growth while reducing water and fertilizer usage.

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

EGA has developed recycling into other waste streams arising from industrial activities. These include used pot lining, a by-product of aluminum smelting, which is reused by the UAE’s cement industry as an alternative raw material and fuel. Carbon dust is also used as fuel in cement production. The EGA dross is processed to recover aluminum. EGA’s long-term goal is to have zero process waste sent to landfill.

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