CYCLONE CALCINATION FURNACE
S. F. Shishkin
Translated from Novye Ogneupory, No. 4, pp. 12 – 15, April, 2015.
Original article submitted January 9, 2015.
Russia’s first cyclone calcination furnace, with a capacity of 500 tons/day, was built and placed in operation at
the Ural Aluminum Plant of the Siberia-Ural Aluminum Company (in Kamensk-Ural’skii). The cyclone fur
nace took the place of rotary furnace No. 6 in March 2004. Operation of the furnace has shown that it offers
the following advantages: a reduction in fuel consumption by a factor of 1.5; a 40% decrease in the emission
of hazardous substances; the production of silica with a low (from 5 to 7%) content of the a-phase; an increase
in the utilization factor from 0.82 to 0.973; low unit fuel consumption — 95.9 kg/ton alumina. The furnace has
now been in operation for 10 years without replacement of the lining or major repairs. Its successful use and
cost-effectiveness (the capital investment was recouped in 2.5 years) show the need to replace the existing
stock of inefficient and worn-out rotary furnaces used for the production of alumina.
Keywords: alumina, rotary furnace, cyclone furnace, calcination, fuel consumption, calcinator, cyclone.
Until now, all of the alumina made in the Russian Feder-
ation has been obtained in rotary calcination furnaces. The
existing furnaces are obsolete from the standpoint of their
design and physical state, and most of them have been in use
for periods ranging from 30 to 60 years. The furnaces do not
conform to modern standards and have significant shortcom
– low thermal efficiency, with fuel costs averaging
140 – 150 kg c.f./ton alumina;
– the impossibility of obtaining metallurgical-grade alu
mina with a low (less than 6%) content of the a-phase, which
would make it possible to improve the efficiency of the elec
trolysis operation; the alumina currently produced has an
a-phase content ranging from 15 to 35%;
– intensive dust entrainment, which not only reduces the
efficiency of the furnace but also pollutes the environment;
– high operating costs, since a rotary furnace is a me
chanical apparatus and thus periodically needs to have its lin
ing and other components (the load-bearing members, the
housing, and the drive) undergo capital repairs or replace
As an alternative to the use of rotary furnaces in the
USSR, the Nikolaev Alumina Plant installed a fluidized-bed
developed by the German firm “Lurgi Metallurgy GmbH”.
Another step toward modernization was the development of
GSC cyclone calcination furnaces by the company F. L.
SMIDTH. These units are shipped to factories around the
world, and China has built 11 such furnaces just since 2000.
In connection with the advanced wear of rotary furnace
No. 6 at the Ural Aluminum Plant (in Kamensk-Ural’skii), in
2003 the factory’s management and the company SUAL set
out to design and build a highly efficient calcination furnace
that was to be the equal of the best foreign furnaces. Among
those that participated in the design,
startup of the furnace were specialists from UGTU-UPI, the
ZAO NPO “Tekhnokom,” the OAO “Uralgipromez,”
UAZ-SUAL, the ZAO “Uralstal’konstruktsiya,” the ZAO
“RTSoft,” and the burner research center at VNIIMT. The
OAO “Uralalyuminii” was the was in charge of project de
sign. It was proposed that the existing gas-cleaning system of
furnace No. 6 (with an electrostatic precipitator and a flue
system) be used for the new cyclone furnace to reduce its
Refractories and Industrial Ceramics Vol. 56, No. 2, July, 2015
1083-4877/15/05602-0136 © 2015 Springer Science+Business Media New York
Ural Federal University, Ekaterinburg, Russia.
B. I. Smolyanitskii, V. A. Popov, V. S. Chernoskutov, V. I. Ov
syannikov, V. K. Cheremnykh, B. A. Fetisov, and É. S. Fomin
took an active part in the design and construction of the furnace.