PHOENICS for Electrolytic SmelTER



Simulation model of a reduction cell

schema cell

Cross-section of an alumina reduction cell – schematic drawing


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New features to ESTER User Interface

The ESTER user interface has been extensively upgraded to include:

  • Cathode and collector bar configurations below metal pad
  • Anode stubs, rods and bus bars above electrolyte layer
  • Additional post-processing output, including:
    • Interface height surface o Interface height map
    • Voltage & current monitoring files
    • Macros to create vectors from currents, magnetic fields and Lorentz Forces

Multi-anode electrolytic smelters simulation tool

ESTER (Electrolytic SmelTER) is a special-purpose adaptation of the general- purpose fluid flow and heat transfer code PHOENICS, developed specifically for the simulation of multi-anode electrolytic smelters of the Hall-cell type. It uses a variant of the standard PHOENICS pre- and post-processors for data input and graphical display.

Features of ESTER

ESTER enables the user fully to represent the smelter in 3-D taking into account all the major features of its design:

  • any number of anodes in any arrangement
  • the frozen electrolyte around the edge of the cell
  • distortion of the metal-electrolyte interface due to pressure differences and due to vertical Lorentz Forces
  • erosion of the anode undersides to follow the shape of the metal-electrolyte interface and
  • current generation due to the motion of the metal - the induced current
  • three components of metal velocity
  • three components of electrolyte velocity
  • the pressure
  • the gas fraction under the anodes, and the inter-anode gaps; and
  • the electric potential distribution.

Based on these, it deduces:

  • the height of the metal-electrolyte interface, and the height of the electrolyte free surface; and
  • the electric current distribution, and the induced currents. These, together with given magnetic fields, are used to compute the Lorentz forces which drive the flow.

ester photon

Photon Post Processing: Anode 19 in raised position


ESTER extensions

  • ESTER has further extensions, to include:
  • thermal calculations, including the formation of freeze;
  • calculation of aluminum oxide concentration in the electrolyte;
  • interface to magnetic field calculation programs;
  • interface to programs which can update the anode potentials and the cathode currents.

     PHOENICS´ Applications in the Aluminium Smelting Industry