Iceland’s CO2 Emissions Could Be Reduced by a Third

Vala Hafstað

A new Icelandic technology intended for aluminum production offers hopes of eliminating CO2 emissions from the production, mbl.is reports.

The company Arctus Metals, in cooperation with Innovation Center Iceland, reached a milestone recently, when it successfully produced aluminum with this new method in a large pot. Instead of creating CO2 emissions, the process emits oxygen.

The main part of the innovation consists of using multiple, vertical inert metal-alloy anodes and ceramic cathodes, instead of using electrodes made of carbon.

This innovation could potentially eliminate CO2 emissions from aluminum smelters in Iceland and elsewhere.

The Rio Tinto aluminum smelter in Straumsvík.

The Rio Tinto aluminum smelter in Straumsvík. mbl.is/Ómar Óskarsson

“Iceland’s three aluminum smelters produce more than 800,000 tons of aluminum a year and emit more than 1.6 million tons of CO2 a year,” states Arctus Metals CEO Jón Hjaltalín Magnússon. “Their emissions make up 30 percent of Iceland’s total CO2 emissions.”

“If all our aluminum smelters adopted this new technology, Iceland’s CO2 emissions would be reduced by 30 percent, he adds, enabling us to fulfill our international obligations and more. Using the new Arctus Metals method, an aluminum smelter, the size of [Rio Tinto’s] in Straumsvík [Southwest Iceland] would produce as much oxygen as a forest covering 500 square kilometers.”

Jón reports that a cooperation agreement has been signed between the German company Trimet Aluminum, one of the world’s largest producers of aluminum, which will continue the development process by starting production in larger pots, and planning to eventually convert production in their four smelters to this method.

The project was presented to Icelandic President Guðni Th. Jóhannesson yesterday at the offices of Innovation Center Iceland.

In the video above, you can see the first chunk of aluminum processed in this new way, presented by CEO Jón Hjaltalín Magnússon.

You can read more about the company and the project here .

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