Co2-free aluminum: Rio Tinto and Alcoa realize the unthinkable

Aluminum giants Rio Tinto and Alcoa, along with multinational Apple, join forces with governments in Quebec and Canada in a $ 600 million project that will eliminate carbon emissions in the electrolysis process and to market the greenest aluminum in the world produced by inert anodes.

This technological development is a giant leap forward for the aluminum industry, which is counting on reducing its environmental footprint to support sales and replace other manufacturing products. A company was created by the partners to develop this new technology. She will be called Elysis. Saguenay was chosen as a site to accommodate this industrial development.

Since the discovery of the electrolysis process, the production of CO2 has always been a problem. It is a gas produced when the anodes used to create the melting are consumed inside the tank. The hypotheses put forward by the scientist indicate that the replacement of anodes in all smelters in Canada would be comparable to the elimination of 8 million vehicles on the roads of the country. The Canadian and Quebec governments quickly realized the importance of such a revolutionary technology for the fight against climate change.

The two aluminum producers independently led the studies to create this inert anode which will result in a major commercial advantage in the very short term. Researchers from both companies, at the initiative of a third party, decided to work together to finally achieve positive results in an experimental tank at Alcoa’s Pittsburgh laboratories.

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