• Aluminium industry working on pathway to zero emissions

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      Patrick Lavery

      Combustion Industry News Editor

Lord Barker of Battle, the executive chairman of Anglo-Russian energy and metals producer En+ Group has written an opinion piece in the Financial Times regarding greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the aluminium industry. Being one of the seven largest emitters of greenhouse gases as an industry, aluminium is also something of an environmental paradox, as it is highly recyclable and light, and therefore is seen as one of the metals of the future, especially as it has applications in electric vehicles, aerospace and construction. En+ Group has recently announced a target of reducing its emissions by at least 35% by 2030 and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, but like the cement and steel industries, this will require widespread technological innovation. (En+ Group aims to have its first net-zero carbon produced next year.) Switching to electricity from zero-carbon sources is perhaps the easiest step, but new smelter techniques, such as ‘inert anode’ technology are likely to be vital to the effort, and carbon capture and storage at small scale may play an important role too. Afforestation is likely to be employed to make up the ‘net’ for the target also. Overall, the challenge will be a familiar one for the steel and cement industries.