Red mud generated in the alumina manufacturing process is rich in iron oxides, along with alumina, silica and alkali. The cement industry has developed the capability to process red mud as a replacement for mined minerals such as laterite and lithomarge in its process. Hindalco is supplying red mud to UltraTech Cement plants where it has proved to be an effective substitute for mined materials, successfully replacing up to 3 % of clinker raw mix volume. Use of red mud reduces the cement industry’s dependence on natural resources and promotes a circular economy. Hindalco’s alumina refineries are currently supplying 250,000 t of bauxite residue to 40 cement companies every month, making Hindalco the world’s first company to have enabled such large-scale commercial application of bauxite residue. In the current year, Hindalco aims to achieve 2.5 mill. t of bauxite residue utilisation, which will be another global milestone.
Globally, 160 mill. t of red mud is produced annually and stored in large tracts of land which is a serious industry challenge. To find a sustainable solution, Hindalco has invested in infrastructure and collaborated with cement companies, with UltraTech Cement being a key partner. In 2019, UltraTech consumed about 15.73 mill. t of industrial waste as alternative raw material and about 300,000 t as an alternative fuel in its kilns. The MoU represents a significant sustainability initiative for both Hindalco and UltraTech. Waste of one industry being used as an input material in another is more than an example of a circular economy; it exemplifies Hindalco’s sustainability-first approach to business. (AlCircle.com, August 20, 2020)