Hydrogen production using waste aluminium dross: from industrial waste to next-generation fuel
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This article describes the production of hydrogen from white aluminium dross, an industrial waste generated in the aluminium smelter plants. Hydrogen is generated by metal-water reaction between aluminium and water in presence of alkalis like sodium hydroxide and potassium hydroxide. Aluminium dross is described as a heterogeneous material with its major constituents being metallic aluminium, alumina and other salt fluxes like NaCl and KCl. Utilizing the metallic aluminium content entrapped in the matrix of alumina for the metal-water reaction has been the driving force for the waste recycling and simultaneous hydrogen production. Bulk aluminium dross was crushed and downsized. The finer fraction of the powdered aluminium dross is used for the experiments. The effects of dross in the alkaline solution, temperature of the solution and the time of the reaction were studied to understand the generation of hydrogen. The alkaline solution breaks the protective layer of alumina and exposes the entrapped aluminium content to water, thereby commencing the hydrogen liberation.