SQ Group released a new core raw material for electrolytic aluminum and the phenolic resin market size is expected to add 2 million tons
On October 12, the "2021 China International Aluminum Week" hosted by China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, opened in Taiyuan, Shanxi Province. SQ Group (605589.SH) released its latest research result in the field of non-ferrous metal smelting, namely phenolic resin carbon anode, at the "Aluminum Auxiliary Materials Market Seminar" during Aluminum Week, which is revolutionary for promoting green, energy saving and carbon reduction in carbon anode and electrolytic aluminum industry. This result has been used in trial in some aluminum plants, and the domestic phenolic resin market size is expected to add approx. 2 million tons.
In the context of achieving "carbon peak and neutrality" target, the high carbon emission industries represented by non-ferrous metals are of great concern.In April this year, the relevant departments of China introduced the Implementation Plan of Peak Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Non-Ferrous Metals Industry, which proposed that the non-ferrous metals industry should strive to achieve peak carbon dioxide emissions by 2025, and strive to achieve a 40% carbon emission reduction in 2040. According to the statistics of China Nonferrous Metals Industry Association, in 2020, China's non-ferrous metals industry emitted 660 million tons of carbon dioxide, accounting for 4.7% of the country's total emissions; while the aluminum industry emitted 550 million tons of carbon dioxide, accounting for 83.3% of the non-ferrous metals industry. The pressure on the aluminum industry to reduce carbon is enormous and requires the synergy of the entire industry chain. This technological breakthrough of SQ Group has a profound impact on the energy saving and carbon reduction of the electrolytic aluminum industry chain.
As the core raw material in electrolytic aluminum production, the traditional production process of carbon anode uses petroleum coke as the aggregate and coal pitch as the binding agent. As a leading domestic synthetic resin enterprise and a national manufacturing single champion demonstration enterprise in the field of phenolic resin, SQ Group, after 5 years of hard work, independently innovated and developed a conductive phenolic resin that can replace 100% of traditional coal pitch as a binding agent to produce phenolic resin carbon anode. SQ Group has individually or jointly applied for 9 patents around this product, of which 6 have been granted.
The production process of carbon anode is obviously optimized after the replacement of coal pitch with phenolic resin. On the one hand, there is no particle segregation in the ramming molding process, thus the shot coke and anode scrap can be effectively utilized, and the products produced are homogeneous and stable with dense edges; on the other hand, the resin anode does not soften and no high-viscosity material volatilizes when being heated, so there is no need for metallurgical coke filling and no need for cleanup after roasting, thus the roasting time is shortened from over 20 days in the traditional process to 8 days, which significantly improves production efficiency and reduces costs.
Phenolic resin carbon anode can effectively promote energy saving and carbon reduction in the electrolytic aluminum industry chain. In the production process of phenolic resin carbon anode, the molding stage does not use heat-conducting oil, so that the roasting time becomes shorter and natural gas consumption decreases significantly, achieving a carbon emission reduction of approx. 50 kg for the production of one ton of phenolic resin carbon anode. If completely replaced with this mode in China, the carbon emission can be reduced by about 1 million tons. In the production process of electrolytic aluminum, the life of phenolic resin carbon anode is prolonged, and the anode replacement cycle is extended, which achieves a carbon consumption reduction of approx. 35 kg for the production of one ton of aluminum, saving as many as 1.29 million tons of carbon provided that the complete replacement is achieved in China; furthermore, due to the low resistivity and high bulk density of phenolic resin carbon anode, electricity consumption can be reduced by 200 kWh for producing one ton of aluminum, saving as many as 7 billion kWh of electricity provided that the complete replacement is achieved in China.
It is reported that the annual output of carbon anodes in China is approx. 20 million tons, based on which data phenolic resin market size will add about 2 million tons provided that all coal pitch is completely replaced with resin.At present, SQ Group has an annual production capacity of 600,000 tons of phenolic resin, ranking first in the world, and its products are widely used in refractory materials, friction materials, thermal insulation materials, coated abrasives, insulation materials, tire rubber, electronic materials, aerospace, military industry and other fields. The company is the manufacturer of insulation materials for the return capsule of the Shenzhou series spacecraft, the largest supplier of electronic resins for PCB substrate materials and the only supplier that is able to supply phenolic resins for TFT photoresists in bulk in China.