Rio Tinto to produce ELYSIS aluminium

Staff reporter

First carbon-free electrolytic smelting of aluminium is slated for 2027 at a Rio Tinto demonstration project in Canada, according to ELYSIS technology developer Alcoa Corporation.

Alcoa said the maiden industrial-scale demonstration of technology developed at its Pittsburgh technical centre would be at Arvida in Quebec and feature 10 ELYSIS smelting pots operating at 100 kiloamperes (kA).

The pot size was similar to those operating at smaller-scale commercial smelters, Alcoa said.

It formed a technology partnership with Rio Tinto in 2018.

“Since inventing the aluminium smelting process in 1886, which is still in use today, Alcoa has continued to create transformational technologies to improve our industry,” Alcoa CEO William Oplinger said.

“Aluminium plays a critical role in the world’s energy transition and decarbonisation efforts; with the ELYSIS technology, the smelting of this important metal can also be done without direct carbon emissions.”

Alcoa is manufacturing proprietary ELYSIS anodes and cathodes in Pittsburgh.

It has an option to buy up to 40% of the metal produced from the Arvida demonstration.


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