Total annual world production of dross has been estimated at 3 million tons a year, just under 5% of the 63 million tons of primary aluminum produced annually, which contains up to 80% valuable aluminum, according to the PyroGenesis Canada company.
Also, the recent growth rate of primary aluminum has been relatively slow.
While global aluminum production between 2017 and 2019 has remained relatively flat; from 2006 to 2016, the growth rate was just over 1 percent.
PyroGenesis is a leader in the design, development, manufacture and marketing of advanced plasma products and processes. The company provides plasma systems, processes, and technology development services for the defense, environmental, metals, and mining industries, as well as plasma atomized powders for AM (including 3D printing).
On October 9, 2019, PyroGenesis announced that Drosrite International, a private company based in the United States, had entered into an agreement with Radian Oil & Gas Services Company, an oil and gas services company operating in the Middle East.
The Slag Processing Service Contract was structured as a 20-year “BOOT” (build, own, operate and transfer) contract using the company’s DROSRITE technology.
Based on these figures, PyroGenesis estimates the total market for DROSRITE at 600 units with a capacity of 5,000 tons per year each.
It is important to note that more than half (approximately 56%) of current aluminum is produced in China, a market that is difficult to access due to several factors, namely lack of intellectual property protection, closed market conditions and the political environment.
A typical slag is made up of 60% metal and 40% residue. Traditional slag treatment techniques contaminate the waste with salt.
DROSRITE allows the recovery of metal in slag without contamination of 40% of the waste with salt, thus presenting a unique opportunity for additional added value.
Through the use of DROSRITE technology, the residues have the ability to be converted into high-margin chemical and metallurgical products, including ammonium sulfate and aluminum sulfate.