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Geographic / Ecosystems Initiatives

Alcoa Primary Metals - Intalco Works

  1. Name of the facility:
      Alcoa Primary Metals - Intalco Works

  2. Location:
      Northwest Whatcom County, approximately five miles west of Ferndale, Washington

  3. Distance from the US/Canada border:
      Approximately 10 miles

  4. Type/size of the facility:
      The Alcoa Intalco Works is a primary aluminum smelter which uses the Hall-Heroult process to produce elemental aluminum from alumina (aluminum oxide) in 720 electrolytic cells called pots. The facility is a side-worked prebake plant with three potlines in six potroom buildings. The facility is currently limited by their air permit to a production rate of 307,000 tons per year (tpy) of aluminum. Alcoa proposes to increase production to 322,000 tpy of aluminum by increasing the electric current sent to the pots from 143 kiloamperes (kA) to 147 kA. No modification of the aluminum production equipment will be required. Alcoa proposes to add a new conveyor system to blend low sulfur coke into the anode production process so that sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions will not increase despite the increase in production.

  5. Source of emissions:
      The proposed modification will not add new emission sources. Emissions will increase from existing sources as the production rate increases. The facility has many individual emission sources which can be grouped into eight process units: general facility, green carbon, baked carbon, anode rodding, potlines, metal products, ancillary equipment and maintenance.

  6. Type of fuel:
      Natural gas

  7. &  8. Type and quantity of emissions and emission control technology:

      Pollutant Past Actual
      (1999 - 2000)
      Net Emissions
      Matter <=10æm
      712 965 253 Dry alumina scrubbers & wet roof scrubbers
      Sulfur dioxide
      4981 4981 0 Low sulfur coke blending
      Nitrogen oxides
      133 140 7 Use of natural gas, good combustion practice, low NOx burners
      Carbon dioxide
      34,157 35,826 1669 Proper cell operation and current efficiency optimization
      Volatile organic compounds
      108 115 7 Good operation practices
      0.23 0.24 0.01 Same as for PM-10
      Total Fluorides
      136 211 75 Same as for PM-10
      Sulfuric acid mist
      10 11 1 Sulfur limit in pitch used in anodes

  8. Date permit application received:
      Original application - June 26, 2002
      Revision - September 13, 2002

  9. Stack height and diameter:
      No new stacks are associated with this modification. The many individual emission sources at this facility were consolidated for air quality modeling purposes and modeled as 27 point sources, 6 line sources and 8 volume sources. Stack heights for the largest emission sources ranged from 16 to 25 meters.

  10. Permit agency's contact name, address, telephone number:
      State of Washington Department of Ecology
      Air Quality Program
      Attn: Mr. Bernard Brady
      P.O. Box 47600
      Olympia, Washington 98504-7600

      (360) 407-6803



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