IPP&T Magazine Online

World's first carbon-free aluminum smelting process being developed here

May 11, 2018  

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Rio Tinto and Alcoa have announced the creation of a new joint venture that will optimize production and eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions associated with the production of primary aluminium by electrolysis.

And the only output from the new process will be oxygen.

“Through this alliance and this unprecedented combined effort, Rio Tinto and Alcoa are helping Canada’s aluminium industry to reposition itself as a global leader in low-carbon aluminium production,” said Jean Simard, President and CEO of the AAC. “Combined with the use of hydropower, Canada’s future carbon-free aluminium production will re-define the sustainable production standard, while creating value in a low-carbon world.” 

The venture includes the back of Quebec provincial government, federal government and Apple Corp.

The Canadian aluminium industry currently produces an average of two tons of CO2 equivalent per metric tonne of aluminium, which is already the lowest carbon footprint in the world.

“The financial implication of the federal and Quebec governments demonstrates their commitment to research and development in green technologies and the importance of Canada’s world class aluminium industry in the Quebec and Canadian economy,” said Simard. “The research, to be done in the Saguenay region, will also contribute to the maintenance and development of a world-class expertise in Quebec.”