NALCO-BARC Releases India’s 1st Bauxite CRM

Context: National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO) has successfully developed a Bauxite Certified Reference Material (CRM) naming as BARC B1201 in joint collaboration with Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC).

About BARC B1201

  • It is a bauxite-certified reference material (CRM).
  • It is the first-of-its-kind CRM in India and the fifth in the world.

What is a Certified Reference Material (CRM)?

  • CRMs are blocks of metal that come with certificates indicating the concentration of their various constituent elements along with their uncertainty levels. 
  • Testing laboratories use CRMs to calibrate measuring instruments, evaluate test procedures and for quality control purposes.

About National Aluminium Company Limited (NALCO)

  • It is a Navratna Central Public Sector Enterprises CPSE, under Ministry of Mines, Govt. of India.
  • It is country’s leading manufacturer and exporter of alumina and aluminium.

What is Bauxite?

  • It is a sedimentary rock with a relatively high aluminium content. 
  • Almost all of the aluminum that has ever been produced has been extracted from bauxite.
  • It does not have a specific composition. It is a mixture of hydrous aluminium oxides, aluminium hydroxides, clay minerals, and insoluble materials such as quartz, hematite, magnetite, siderite, and goethite. 

How bauxite is formed?

  • Bauxite is formed by the thorough weathering of many different rocks. Bauxite may grade into laterite or clay, laterally or vertically.

Bauxite Used for Aluminum Production

  • The first step is to crush the bauxite and purify it using the Bayer Process.
  • Bayer Process:
    • In this the bauxite is washed in a hot solution of sodium hydroxide, which leaches aluminum from the bauxite. 
    • The aluminum is precipitated out of solution in the form of aluminum hydroxide, Al(OH)3.
    • The aluminum hydroxide is then calcined to form alumina, Al2O3.
  • Aluminum is smelted from the alumina using the Hall-Heroult Process
  • In the Hall-Heroult Process, the alumina is dissolved in a molten bath of cryolite (Na3AlF6).
  • Molten aluminum is removed from the solution by electrolysis.  This process uses an enormous amount of electricity.

Production and reserves

  • In India, Odisha alone accounts for 53% of the country’s resources of bauxite, and it is also found in the states of Andhra Pradesh, Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh and Maharashtra.
  • Australia is the largest producer of bauxite, followed by Guinea and China.

UPSC Prelims PYQ (2020):

Q. Why is there a concern about copper smelting plants?

1.They may release lethal quantities of carbon monoxide into environment.

2.The copper slag can cause the leaching of some heavy metals into environment.

3.They may release sulphur dioxide as a pollutant.

Select the correct answer using the code given below.

(a)1 and 2 only

(b)2 and 3 only

(c)1 and 3 only

(d)1, 2 and 3

Ans. (b)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

The maximum upload file size: 20 MB. You can upload: image, document, archive, other. Drop files here

Online Counselling
Table of Contents