Increasing demands for environmental accountability and energy efficiency in industrial practice necessitates significant modification(s) of existing technologies and development of new ones to meet the stringent sustainability demands of the future. Generally, development of required new technologies and appropriate modifications of existing ones need to be premised on in-depth appreciation of existing technologies, their limitations, and desired ideal products or processes. In the light of these, published literature mostly in the past 30 years on the sealing process; the second highest energy consuming step in aluminum anodization and a step with significant environmental impacts has been critical reviewed in this systematic review. Emphasis have been placed on the need to reduce both the energy input in the anodization process and environmental implications. The implications of the nano-porous structure of the anodic oxide on mass transport and chemical reactivity of relevant species during the sealing process is highlighted with a focus on exploiting these peculiarities, in improving the quality of sealed products. In addition, perspective is provided on plausible approaches and important factors to be considered in developing sealing procedures that can minimize the energy input and environmental impact of the sealing step, and ensure a more sustainable aluminum anodization process/industry.
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