Alcoa Receives Funding to Pilot Carbon-Reduction Technology for Alumina Refining, Supporting Refinery of the Future Initiative
Alcoa Cooperation have announced that Australian governments have provided $7.7 million of funding to conduct pilot trials on a new carbon reduction technology that supports Alcoa’s Refinery of the Future initiative.
Alcoa of Australia has received support to test electric calcination with $6.4 million (A$8.6 million) from The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) and $1.3 million (A$1.7 million) from Western Australia’s Clean Energy Future Fund (CEFF).
Calcination is the final stage in the alumina refining process and uses fossil fuels, primarily natural gas, to heat alumina hydrate crystals. Electric calcination, when powered with renewable energy, has the potential to significantly reduce carbon emissions. Additionally, electrification of calciners would allow significant amounts of residual energy, currently lost in the atmosphere as steam, to be captured and reused, saving water and negating the need for stacks to vent that steam.
“We are the lowest carbon intensity alumina producer in the world, and we have a technology roadmap of future-oriented research and development projects with the goal to reduce our footprint even further,” said Eugenio Azevedo, Alcoa’s Vice President for Continuous Improvement. “With this support from Australian governments, we are working on our vision to reinvent the aluminium industry for a sustainable future, which includes advancing projects of global significance for the aluminium industry and its customers.”
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