India’s metals flagship Hindalco Industries Ltd has entered into an agreement (MoU) with Ultra Tech Cement Ltd for the delivery of red mud bauxite residue.
According to the MoU, Hindalco delivers 1.2m t of red mud annually to Ultra Tech’s 14 plants located across seven states in India. Red mud has been proved to be an effective substitute for mined materials, successfully replacing up to 3 % of clinker raw mix volume, says Ultra Tech.
Hindalco claims to be the world’s first company to achieve 100 % red mud utilization across three of its refineries. Red mud generated in the alumina manufacturing process is rich in iron oxides, along with alumina, silica and alkali. The cement industry has developed the capability to process red mud as a replacement for mined minerals such as laterite and lithomarge in its process. Use of red mud reduces the cement industry’s dependence on natural resources and promotes a circular economy.
Red mud utilization a key to more sustainability
Hindalco’s alumina refineries are currently supplying 250,000 t of bauxite residue to cement companies every month, making Hindalco the world’s first company to have enabled such large scale commercial application of bauxite residue. This year, Hindalco aims to achieve 2.5m t of bauxite residue utilization.
Globally, 160m t of red mud is produced annually and stored in large tracts of land which is a serious industry challenge. To find a sustainable solution, Hindalco has invested in infrastructure and collaborated with cement companies, with Ultra Tech Cement being a key partner.
The MoU represents a significant sustainability initiative for both Hindalco and Ultra Tech. Waste of one industry being used as an input material in another is more than an example of a circular economy, it exemplifies Hindalco’s sustainability-first approach to business.