US aluminum producer Alcoa Corporation has announced a development project in Australia that could decrease carbon emissions from alumina refining by 70pc.
Alcoa was granted $A11.3mn ($8.78mn) by the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) for testing renewable energy’s potential use through Mechanical Vapor Recompression (MVR). Studies are being conducted to adapt the MVR process to refining. If the studies prove successful, Alcoa will install a 3GWh MVR module at the Wagerup, Western Australia refinery to test the technology.
The use of electricity sourced from renewable energy, such as hydro or wind, will be utilized by compressors turning waste vapor into steam and in-turn be used to provide heat for process refining. Alcoa predicts the use of MVR technology will reduce its alumina carbon footprint by at least 70pc.
($1 = A$1.29)