Aluminium is obtained commercially from the Hall-Heroult Process, the electrolytic
reduction of bauxite (aluminium oxide). The electrodes used are made from different
types of carbon; the bulk of the electrode, known as the filler, is typically made from
either a calcined-anthracite or petroleum coke, the particles of which are bonded
together by the binder component of the electrode, which is usually coal-tar pitch.
Large quantities of electrodes are consumed each year; attrition is by a variety of
causes, and since there is no commercially realistic alternative to the Hall-Heroult
Process, any means of reducing loss of electrodes would improve the economics of the
extraction process. [Continues.]
A Master's Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Master of Philosophy at Loughborough University.