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Das S.K.,Phinix LLC | Green J.A.S.,JASG | Kaufman G.,Kaufman Associates
Light Metal Age | Year: 2010

Recycling of aluminum is anticipated to beneficially impact the carbon footprint of the aluminum industry. The production of primary aluminum, when all the electrical generation, transmission losses, and transportation fuels have been accounted for, requires 45 kWh of energy and emits 12 kg of CO2 for each kilogram of metal. By contrast, the recycling of aluminum requires only 2.8 kWh of energy and emits only 0.6 kg of CO2 for each kilogram of metal. Thus, 95% of the energy and 95% of the environmental emissions are saved when the metal is recycled. The collection of aluminum components for recycling breaks down into several streams. Beverage cans and similar packages are generally captured in MRFs and find their way back to an aluminum recycler through an established dealer network. Laser induced break-down spectroscopy (LIBS) demonstrates the ability to separate Al-Mg (5xxx) alloys from Al-Si-Mg (6xxx) alloys. Both these alloy series are used extensively in automotive construction, thus this sorting capability will undoubtedly be useful in the future.

Gesing A.J.,Phinix LLC | Gesing A.J.,Gesing Consultants Inc. | Das S.K.,Phinix LLC
Metallurgical and Materials Transactions B: Process Metallurgy and Materials Processing Science | Year: 2016

With United States Department of Energy Advanced Research Project Agency funding, experimental proof-of-concept was demonstrated for RE-12TM electrorefining process of extraction of desired amount of Mg from recycled scrap secondary Al molten alloys. The key enabling technology for this process was the selection of the suitable electrolyte composition and operating temperature. The selection was made using the FactSage thermodynamic modeling software and the light metal, molten salt, and oxide thermodynamic databases. Modeling allowed prediction of the chemical equilibria, impurity contents in both anode and cathode products, and in the electrolyte. FactSage also provided data on the physical properties of the electrolyte and the molten metal phases including electrical conductivity and density of the molten phases. Further modeling permitted selection of electrode and cell construction materials chemically compatible with the combination of molten metals and the electrolyte. © 2016 The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society and ASM International

Gesing A.J.,Phinix LLC | Das S.K.,Phinix LLC | Loutfy R.O.,MER Corporation
JOM | Year: 2016

An experimental proof of concept was demonstrated for a patent-pending and trademark-pending RE12™ process for extracting a desired amount of Mg from recycled scrap secondary Al melts. Mg was extracted by electrorefining, producing a Mg product suitable as a Mg alloying hardener additive to primary-grade Al alloys. This efficient electrorefining process operates at high current efficiency, high Mg recovery and low energy consumption. The Mg electrorefining product can meet all the impurity specifications with subsequent melt treatment for removing alkali contaminants. All technical results obtained in the RE12™ project indicate that the electrorefining process for extraction of Mg from Al melt is technically feasible. A techno-economic analysis indicates high potential profitability for applications in Al foundry alloys as well as beverage—can and automotive—sheet alloys. The combination of technical feasibility and potential market profitability completes a successful proof of concept. This economical, environmentally-friendly and chlorine-free RE12™ process could be disruptive and transformational for the Mg production industry by enabling the recycling of 30,000 tonnes of primary-quality Mg annually. © 2015, The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society.

In the 21st century, sustainability is widely regarded as the new corporate culture, and leading manufacturing companies (Toyota, GE, and Alcoa) and service companies (Google and Federal Express) are striving towards carbon neutrality. The current carbon footprint of the global aluminum industry is estimated at 500 million metric tonnes carbon dioxide equivalent (CO 2eq), representing about 1.7% of global emissions from all sources. For the global aluminum industry, carbon neutrality is defined as a state where the total "in-use" CO 2eq saved from all products in current use, including incremental process efficiency improvements, recycling, and urban mining activities, equals the CO 2eq expended to produce the global output of aluminum. This paper outlines an integrated and quantifiable plan for achieving "carbon neutrality" in the global aluminum industry by advocating five actionable steps: (1) increase use of "green" electrical energy grid by 8%, (2) reduce process energy needs by 16%, (3) deploy 35% of products in "in-use" energy saving applications, (4) divert 6.1 million metric tonnes/year from landfills, and (5) mine 4.5 million metric tonnes/year from aluminum-rich "urban mines." Since it takes 20 times more energy to make aluminum from bauxite ore than to recycle it from scrap, the global aluminum industry could set a reasonable, self-imposed energy/carbon neutrality goal to incrementally increase the supply of recycled aluminum by at least 1.05 metric tonnes for every tonne of incremental production via primary aluminum smelter capacity. Furthermore, the aluminum industry can and should take a global leadership position by actively developing internationally accepted and approved carbon footprint credit protocols. © 2012 TMS.

Mukherjee S.,Phinix LLC
2010 IEEE Radio and Wireless Symposium, RWW 2010 - Paper Digest | Year: 2010

A low cost, fast yet highly accurate method for determining liquid level inside small containers is described. The non-invasive technique can easily resolve sub-1% levels in vials containing a few ml or less of liquid and potentially be an order of magnitude more accurate than capacitive level sensors. The vial is placed inside an electrically conducting holder to guide a radio-frequency wave inside the vial. The holder-vial guide acts like an open circuited transmission line whose reflection coefficient is nominally unity but phase angle is a function of the liquid level. By performing a vector measurement of the reflection coefficient, it is possible to achieve sub-wavelength resolution and therefore measure the level highly accurately. An intentional impedance mismatch between the holder-vial guide and the measurement system can be used enhance the sensitivity to level variations, the optimum sensitivity occurring at multiples of quarter wavelength. The implementation details in the form of a reflectometer and results from an actual level measurement are presented. © 2010 IEEE.

The invention comprises methods and apparatuses for the electrorefining of Mg from Al or Mg alloy scrap. The invention utilizes the density and charge features of Mg present in a melted alloy to continuously extract Mg and Mg alloys from a melted Al alloy feed.

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