Abu Dhabi aluminium smelter at halfway stage


Abu Dhabi-based Emal International has successfully completed 50% of its new $5.6bn aluminium smelter at Taweelah in Abu Dhabi, according to a senior company executive.

Middle East news agency MEED reports that the project is now 50% complete and targeting an April 2010 start-up for the plant.

Smelting is a form of extractive metallurgy used to extract pure metals from their ores. Most metal ores contain small percentages of metal atoms compounded with either oxygen as metal oxide, with sulphur as metal sulphide, or with carbon and oxygen as metal carbonate.

Compared to most other metals, it is thought to be difficult to extract aluminium from ore, such as bauxite, due to the energy required to reduce aluminium oxide (Al2O3). Aluminium oxide has a melting point of around 2,000 °C and therefore, it must be extracted by electrolysis.

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