This week, local and international researchers and experts on aluminium production are gathered in Doha to highlight the benefits of aluminium production and materials research in Qatar.
"Over the last few years, Qatar has gradually become a center for cutting edge aluminium technology - mainly due to the advanced technology at Qatalum and the close cooperation with Qatar University. Throughout the Aluminium Week the superior qualities of aluminium will be highlighted and the audience will be exposed to how research and operational expertise built up in Qatar creates new possibilities," says Dr. Chris Devadas, head of Hydro Technology Center Qatar and lead organizer of the event.
The seminar is arranged in cooperation between Hydro, Qatar University and the aluminium production company Qatalum which produces aluminium in Mesaieed Industrial City south of Doha.
"At Qatalum we produce approximately 630,000 metric tons of value-added aluminium products every year. The aluminium we produce is used in buildings, cars, and a wide range of other products, ending up with end customers in all parts of the world," says the CEO of Qatalum, Tom Petter Johansen.
Qatalum, which is a joint venture between Hydro and Qatar Petroleum, started production in 2010 and was the world's largest aluminium smelter ever built in one phase.
Aluminium is the third most abundant element in the earth's crust, constituting about 7 percent by weight.
"As aluminium can be recycled again and again without loss of quality and by use of only 5 percent of the energy needed to produce it in the first place, production of aluminium is basically production of energy in solid form. In fact, 75 percent of all aluminium which has ever been produced is still in use today," says Hydro's head of Global Joint Ventures, Ola Sæter, one of the keynote speakers at the seminar.
Dr. Hassan Al-Derham, VP of Research at Qatar University, highlights the importance of aluminium research for the university's materials research ambitions.
"The metallurgical research ongoing at the Center for Advanced Materials at Qatar University supports the Qatar vision of becoming a hub of manufacturing excellence," he says.
Due to its long range of positive attributes, aluminium is present almost everywhere around us in a vast number of products and applications.
"Aluminium is light and strong, easily formable, makes for a good conductor and is highly corrosion resistant. We may not even be conscious about its presence, but aluminium is a surprisingly big part of life, and that is part of what we want to show the audience at the Aluminium Week," says Dr. Devadas.