Rusal, headquartered in Moscow, Russia, has begun test deliveries of aluminium produced using a novel inert anode cell technology. The use of an inert anode in the electrolysis process is said to make it possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to near zero.
Combined with renewable hydropower, the company’s inert anode technology reportedly provides an unprecedented low carbon footprint in metal production – less than 0.01 tons of CO2 equivalent per ton of metal (Scope 1, Scope 2 – direct and indirect emissions), a level ten times lower than the industry average for aluminium.
Roman Andryushin, Sales and Marketing Director, stated, “We see great interest from our customers in inert anode technology. We have already submitted this new product to companies that use aluminium in their production and are focused on reducing their carbon footprint along the entire production value chain. The ultimate goal of these tests is to expand the use of aluminium produced using inert anode technology, to demonstrate the benefits of decarbonisation and to stimulate manufacturers to implement carbon-free technologies.”
Currently, the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Smelter (KrAZ) operates a pilot section of cells with a new generation of inert anodes. The low carbon footprint has been achieved thanks to the use of these inert anodes in the electrolysis process. The results show the achievement of a stable production of aluminium at an industrial scale, with capacity of the new process being around 1 ton of aluminium per day per cell, at a current of 140,000 amperes.
The use of an inert anode in the electrolysis process could prove a revolutionary environmental solution in metallurgy, as it can replace classic carbon anodes with inert, non-combustible materials – ceramics or alloys – which leads to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions. Another advantage of this technology is the release of oxygen during the aluminium production process: a single cell with an inert anode is said to be able to produce as much oxygen as seventy hectares of forest.
The company is encouraging prospective partners and market leaders to test a pilot batch of its aluminium.