Port of BelleduneTelestackCimbria Bulk Equipment A/SVigan25th Coaltrans AsiaTMS Awards 2019
  • Cleveland Cascades Ltd
  • Sailors Society
  • Marine Fuels 360 China
  • MULTIMODAL 2019
  • 5th Biennial LNG Bunkering
  • 25th Coaltrans Asia

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

Proposed USDA rules ‘fundamentally flawed’

(Posted on 19/08/19)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) new proposed rule for regulating plant-based agricultural... Read more


Skills partnership launched

(Posted on 19/08/19)

BHP Mitsubishi Alliance, BMA, TAFE Queensland and CQUniversity Australia have announced a new multi-... Read more


Resolution Copper permitting milestone

(Posted on 13/08/19)

Rio Tinto’s Resolution Copper project in the US has achieved a major permitting milestone with... Read more


PCA strengthens executive team

(Posted on 13/08/19)

The Portland Cement Association (PCA), representing America’s Cement Manufacturers, is pleased... Read more


Rio Tinto’s $3.5 billion shareholders returns

(Posted on 08/08/19)

Rio Tinto chief executive J-S Jacques said "We have delivered strong financial results with underlying... Read more


ABMEC appoints new Vice President

(Posted on 08/08/19)

The President-elect of ABMEC (Association for British Mining Expertise), Paul Freeman, has a long and... Read more


Vale iron fines shipments improve

(Posted on 31/07/19)

Vale iron ore fines production and sales showed a substantial improvement in the end of 2Q19 with the... Read more


Rusal announces Q2 result

(Posted on 31/07/19)

Rusal, a leading global aluminium producer, has announced its operating results for the second quarter... Read more


K+S increases capacity

(Posted on 31/07/19)

With the commissioning of a new facility at the Wintershall site of the Werra plant, K+S is now capable... Read more


BHP introduces low emissions LNG freight

(Posted on 21/07/19)

BHP has released the world’s first bulk carrier tender for LNG-fuelled transport for up to 27... Read more


Cleveland Cascades LtdTOC EventsTBA GroupIndonesia Coal Mining 20195th Biennial LNG BunkeringMULTIMODAL 2019
  • Port of Stockton
  • Cimbria Bulk Equipment A/S
  • Bühler GmbH
  • Telestack

Subscribe to our newsletter

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