Vigan Engineering S.ATOC EventsPort of StocktonBühler GmbHSailors SocietyMultimodal 2018
  • The Maritime Standards Awards 2018
  • Bühler GmbH
  • Vigan Engineering S.A
  • Ovet
  • Cleveland Cascades Ltd
  • Docksolid

Rio Tinto and Alcoa announce world's first carbon-free aluminium smelting process

Rio Tinto and Alcoa announce world's first carbon-free aluminium smelting process

(Posted on 14/05/18)

Rio Tinto and Alcoa Corporation has announced a revolutionary process to make aluminium that produces oxygen and eliminates all direct greenhouse gas emissions from the traditional smelting process.

Executives of Rio Tinto, Alcoa and Apple were joined by Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Premier of Québec Philippe Couillard for the announcement, which signals the most significant innovation in the aluminium industry in more than a century.

To advance larger scale development and commercialisation of the new process, Alcoa and Rio Tinto are forming Elysis, a joint venture company to further develop the new process with a technology package planned for sale beginning in 2024.

Elysis, which will be headquartered in Montreal with a research facility in Quebec's Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean region, will develop and license the technology so it can be used to retrofit existing smelters or build new facilities.

When fully developed and implemented, it will eliminate direct greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process and strengthen the closely integrated Canada-United States aluminium and manufacturing industry. The new joint venture company will also sell proprietary anode and cathode materials, which will last more than 30 times longer than traditional components.

Canada and Quebec are each investing $60 million (CAD) in Elysis. The provincial government of Quebec will have a 3.5 percent equity stake in the joint venture with the remaining ownership split evenly between Alcoa and Rio Tinto.

Apple is providing an investment of $13 million (CAD). The company helped facilitate the collaboration between Alcoa and Rio Tinto on the carbon-free smelting process, and Apple has agreed to provide technical support to the JV partners.

Rio Tinto and Alcoa will invest $55 million (CAD) cash over the next three years and contribute specific intellectual property and patents.

The patent-protected technology, developed by Alcoa, is currently producing metal at the Alcoa Technical Center, near Pittsburgh in the United States, where the process has been operating at different scales since 2009. The joint venture intends to invest up to $40 million (CAD) in the United States, which would include funding to support the supply chain for the proprietary anode and cathode materials.

Vincent Christ, an experienced leader with more than 30 years' experience at Rio Tinto Aluminium, has been named Chief Executive Officer of Elysis. Most recently, he has served as head of technology, research and development and automation programmes. He holds an engineering degree in electronics and industrial information technology.

Prime Minister of Canada Justin Trudeau said, "Today's announcement will create and maintain thousands of jobs for Canadians, significantly reduce Canada’s carbon footprint, and further strengthen the aluminium industry in North America. It is a truly historic day for the aluminium industry – and for all Canadian aluminium workers – who play such an important role in our economy and our country’s future."

"This is a revolutionary smelting process that can deliver a significant reduction in carbon emissions. It builds on the key role aluminium has to play in driving human progress, by making products infinitely recyclable, stronger, lighter and more fuel efficient. Rio Tinto is proud to work with Alcoa, Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec, to drive an innovation that can transform the industry and our customers' supply chains," said Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques

Alcoa President and CEO Roy Harvey said, "This discovery has been a long-sought goal for the aluminium industry, and this announcement is the culmination of the work from many dedicated Alcoa employees. Today, our history of innovation continues as we take aluminium’s sustainable advantage to a new level with the potential to improve the carbon footprint of a range of products from cars to consumer electronics."

Latest News

Rio Tinto granted accreditation for AutoHaul

(Posted on 24/05/18)

Rio Tinto has been granted accreditation by Australia’s Office of the National Rail Safety Regulator... Read more


Peabody’s Glenn Kellow announced as new Chairman of WCA

(Posted on 24/05/18)

The World Coal Association (WCA) has announced the appointment of Glenn Kellow, President and Chief... Read more


IAT appoints Gervais Jacques as Chair

(Posted on 24/05/18)

Gervais Jacques, Managing Director - Atlantic, at Rio Tinto Aluminium, has been appointed Chair of the... Read more


AFIA welcome new leadership

(Posted on 24/05/18)

The American Feed Industry Association’s Board of Directors met 15-16 May for its annual spring... Read more


Aluminium: a highly recyclable alternative

(Posted on 14/05/18)

Foil tray manufacturer, Advanta, has released an infographic which summarises key facts and figures... Read more


MCA calls for structural reform

(Posted on 14/05/18)

The Minerals Council of Australia’s interim Chief Executive, David Byers believes that the 2018... Read more


Trinity test drilling on target

(Posted on 09/05/18)

Wealth Minerals Ltd., a mineral resource company focussed on the acquisition and development of lithium... Read more


Europe’s first steel plant in 40 years

(Posted on 09/05/18)

Construction has started on Europe’s first specialised steel plant in 40 years. Voestalpine is... Read more


Australia close to breakthrough on resistant wheat

(Posted on 09/05/18)

Growers are one step closer to accessing wheat varieties that can compete better against weeds, particularly... Read more


Bunge Reports First Quarter Results

(Posted on 02/05/18)

Bunge Limited has reported a Q1 GAAP EPS of $(0.20); $(0.06) on an adjusted basis that includes $120... Read more


TMS Awards 2016 winnersOvetTMS Tanker Conference 2018NAVTORDocksolidCimbria Bulk Equipment A/S
  • NAVTOR
  • TOC Events
  • Sailors Society
  • Stemm
  • TMS Awards 2016 winners

Subscribe to our newsletter

Keep up to date with the latest global news in bulk cargo handling and shipping