Canadian Mining Journal


ALUMINUM: Elysis to create research centre in Saguenay

Carbon-free aluminum smelting will be commercially available in 2024. (Image: Elysis)

QUEBEC – Elysis, a joint venture of  Rio Tinto Alcan and Alcoa – has chosen the site for its new research and development facility in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region. It will be located at Rio Tinto’s Jonquiere complex, home of the Arvida smelter and R&D lab.

The new facility should be fully functional in the second half of 2019 and employ more than 25 experts. The lab has the financial backing of the governments of Quebec and Canada.

Elysis aims to commercialize technology that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases from the traditional aluminum smelting process by 2024. Using the technology would reduce the environmental footprint of the aluminum industry worldwide. The process was developed by Alcoa at its technical centre near Pittsburgh, Penn. It has been in use since 2009 in applications of various sizes.

The revolutionary aluminum smelting process uses inert anodes, rather than carbon anodes. Anode life is increased 30 times, operating costs go down by 15% and production rises by 15%.

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