Investigation of electrolytic bubble behaviour in aluminum smelting cell


Alam, Morshed; Morsi, Yos; Yang, William; Mohanarangam, Krishna; Brooks, Geoff; Chen, John


A 1/4th scale low temperature electrolytic model of the Hall-Heroult cell was constructed to investigate the electrolytic bubble formation mechanism, coalescence and movement under the horizontal anode surface. Geometric and dynamic similarity between the model and real cell was maintained through using similarity criteria. A 0.28M CuSO4+20%H2SO4 solution was selected as an electrolyte where Cu was deposited at the cathode and O2 bubbles were generated underneath the anode, similar to the phenomena of real cell. The bubble generation mechanism, movement, coalescence and detachment under the electrolytic medium were observed using a high speed camera. It was found that electrolytic bubbles generate uniformly under the whole anode surface and grow through gas diffusion and coalescence. At higher current density and higher anode inclination angles, bubbles escape quickly from underneath the anode surface. The bubble layer thickness and bubble sizes were also found to decrease with an increase in anode inclination angle.

Publication year


Publication type

Conference paper


Minerals, Metals and Materials Series: Proceedings of the symposia sponsored by the TMS Aluminum Committee at the 142nd TMS Annual Meeting & Exhibition, (Light Metals 2013), San Antonio, Texas, United States, 3-7 March 2013 / Barry Sadler (ed.), no. 210869, pp. 591-596




Springer International Publishing




Copyright © 2016 by The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society. Published by Springer International Publishers, Switzerland, 2016.