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I guess this is a sort of historical question. The DeVille process seems fairly simple. Does anybody know the history or practical reasons for the switch?

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    $\begingroup$ The reason has to be cost. I have no specific knowledge of either process but looking at the DeVille process en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deville_process and the Bayer process en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bayer_process I can see that the Deville process uses an extra calcination step and bubbles carbon dioxide. Neither process seems to adequately deal with the process waste. $\endgroup$ – MaxW Dec 22 '15 at 17:33
  • $\begingroup$ I think the DeVille would produce waste with a lower pH. $\endgroup$ – King-Ink Dec 22 '15 at 17:46
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    $\begingroup$ Related: When is Serpeck's process preferred over Bayer's process? $\endgroup$ – Loong Dec 26 '15 at 18:55
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    $\begingroup$ This looks like a promising source. I think you may have to buy it though if you want to read it. $\endgroup$ – bon Dec 27 '15 at 11:15
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    $\begingroup$ I suspect the problem is that the differential step between the two processes involve calcination at high temperature for Deville vs. heating with sodium hydroxide at relatively lower temperature for Bayer. That's a huge energy and cost savings. $\endgroup$ – Geoff Hutchison Dec 30 '15 at 4:58
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The product of the Bayer process is purer than that of the Deville process.

Trevor I Williams, Aluminium: latecomer to the metal industry, Endeavour, Volume 17, Issue 2, 1993, Pages 89-93

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