Hydrova collaborated with CTS Cement and TST Inc. to enable the production of the first low-carbon cement made with its zero-waste aluminum dross recycling technology. The development of this new technology marks an important step on the way to eliminating landfill disposal of dross and salt cake waste streams.
“This is an important milestone in creating a circular economy for dross and salt cake,” said says Julian Davis, Co-founder and CEO of Hydrova. “As we scale up Hydrova’s process, we can help divert millions of tons of waste from landfill every year. By doing so, we can create aluminum and cement products that are lower-carbon and more sustainable than ever before.”
Over 5 million tons of dross and salt cake are created in aluminum remelting furnaces each year and the majority of this material is landfilled. In order to address this challenge, Hydrova developed DrossZero™, a patent-pending separations technology that recycles 100% of the dross and salt cake, recovering valuable aluminum, salt, and oxide products — eliminating all landfill-bound waste streams.
Hydrova also produces green hydrogen during the recycling process through its proprietary aluminum-water-reaction method. The hydrogen can be used as a clean fuel on-site, adding further ability for decarbonization in aluminum and cement production.
The importance of this technology is clear. So much so that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) awarded Hydrova a $100,000 grant to advance this circular economy approach.
In December 2022, Hydrova’s breakthrough separations technology was used to recover an alumina-rich product from black dross produced at TST’s facility in Fontana, California, which was delivered to CTS Cement to produce CTS’s Rapid Set® cement product. This comes shortly after the Hydrova team produced the first aluminum ingots and green hydrogen fuel using the same dross.
Earlier this year, Hydrova used the aluminum and salt recovered from TST’s dross to make new high-quality aluminum ingots. Producing cement from the remaining oxides demonstrates that all materials can be effectively recycled via this approach.
“Decarbonizing the production of cement is one of the biggest opportunities for reducing our CO2 emissions and further greening of the built environment,” said Ken Vallens, president and CEO of CTS Cement. “Hydrova technology is a big step forward towards the full utilization of raw materials and continuity of the circular materials economy.”
Hydrova is now working to scale up production in partnership with TST and CTS.