The carbon emission reduction road of multinational aluminum companies

Author: Lang Shitong
Kenlian Aluminum
Kenlian Aluminum is the world’s leading manufacturer of high-quality, high-value-added aluminum products and their solutions. The products are mainly used in the aerospace, automotive, construction, and packaging markets. Improving energy efficiency is the core of Connaught’s carbon footprint limitation. For this reason, Connaught is taking various measures to improve energy efficiency, including the use of LED lighting, optimizing production routes, and upgrading the idle mode of equipment. In casting operations, Kenlian will continue to use advanced technologies such as electromagnetic stirring and regenerative burners, and supplement measures by adjusting the energy structure to explore new energy generation possibilities.
In the automotive field, Kenlian has cooperated with automakers to develop advanced light-duty vehicle solutions. The products include conellium HSA6R high-performance extrusion products for collision management systems (CMS) and other structural and safety components, as well as for demanding high surfaces SurfalexR aluminum rolling solutions for quality external components. In addition, several automotive projects underway between Kenlian and its British partners have successfully completed the carbon-aluminum hybrid vehicle structure (CAAHS) plan, and developed a new generation of rolling chassis materials based on the 6xxx series of aluminum alloys, which combine the structure of the car body The weight is reduced by 40%. In the field of packaging, the ongoing R&D project of Kenlian can reduce the weight of beverage cans by about 10%. These projects will be completed within 5 years, focusing on optimizing the dome of the jar. In the field of aerospace and transportation, Kenlian provides innovative aluminum rolling and extrusion products, such as AirwareR and other lightweight aluminum-lithium alloys, which help light aircraft and vehicles improve fuel efficiency. At the same time, it also provides rolling for the ground transportation market. Steel plates, coils and thin plates, their products can reduce trailer weight and fuel consumption. In the field of recycling, Kenlian will promote the improvement of the global aluminum recycling rate through the cooperation of the upstream and downstream industrial chain, and is working hard to create a better and more effective closed-loop recycling system and optimize the recycling process. It is reported that Kenlian recycles thousands of tons of aluminum each year.
Ken United’s goal is to achieve more than 80% recycling of aluminum cans in 2021, reduce carbon emission intensity by 25% in 2025 compared with 2015, and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Japan United Aluminum
Japan United Aluminum Corporation is a multinational aluminum group that produces and manufactures aluminum products and deep-processed products. Forging business, copper pipe business, processing business. In order to achieve sustainable development, United Aluminum regards the protection of the global environment and the formation of a recycling-oriented society as one of the most important management issues. In all business activities, it strives to reduce the environmental load and strives for the entire life cycle of the product. Contribute to the protection of the global environment.
In 2019, United Aluminum invested nearly 500 million yen in environmental protection, including installing dust removal equipment in the foundry of Oyama Extrusion Company in Japan, replacing fuel for heat treatment furnaces at the Fukui Plant, and insulating the roof at Nagoya Extrusion Company , Update air-conditioning equipment, install LED lighting equipment in multiple production bases, etc. At the same time, each factory has established an environmental management system, and almost all factories have obtained ISO14001 certification. Among them, some small factories have obtained “Ecological Action 21” certification in accordance with the guidelines established by the Ministry of Environment of Japan. As of July 2018, all factories of United Aluminum have successfully updated their environmental certifications. In addition, while complying with environmental laws and internal regulations, United Aluminum is also striving to build an environmental management system, assess the impact of all activities on the environment, and formulate environmental improvement measures and target values, and actively carry out pollution prevention, energy conservation, and waste management. Continuous environmental protection activities such as reduction, recycling, and reduction in the use of harmful chemical substances.
Regarding the goal of carbon neutrality, United Aluminum Corporation promises: First, in response to global warming and reducing carbon dioxide emissions, it will further strengthen the promotion of energy-saving facilities and conduct in-depth research on fuel conversion; second, it will develop a cycle-oriented society On the one hand, 3R resource protection measures will be promoted, while the utilization rate of waste products will be increased, and the production of industrial waste and landfill will be reduced; third, on the use of chemical substances, the chemical substances in products will be effectively controlled, including the reduction of volatile organic compounds. The use of chemical compounds and the establishment of an environmental quality management system trusted by customers; fourth, in terms of laws, we will strictly abide by local and overseas laws and regulations; fifth, in terms of environmental management systems, we will continue to improve and strengthen through the implementation of environmental management systems The company’s environmental management work; sixth, in terms of environmental protection education, will organize relevant courses on a regular basis to improve employees’ environmental awareness; seventh, in terms of aluminum materials, will strive to improve the environmental performance of aluminum products, and maximize the development and supply of environmentally friendly materials Give full play to the environmental protection characteristics of aluminum, and contribute to the reduction of carbon footprint and environmental protection.
Rio Tinto Group
Rio Tinto Group is one of the world’s largest suppliers of resource extraction and mineral products, the world’s second largest iron ore producer, and a global leader in the exploration, mining and processing of mineral resources. Its main products include aluminum, copper, diamonds, Energy products (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals and iron ore, etc.
In response to climate change, Rio Tinto puts forward four major strategies: In terms of producing materials needed for a low-carbon future, Rio Tinto will no longer mine fossil fuels and instead focus on the production of low-carbon materials. By 2020, Rio Tinto promises to solve the emissions problem in its value chain. In terms of reducing the carbon footprint of its operations, since 2010, Rio Tinto’s absolute emissions in its management operations have been reduced by 39%, mainly as a result of increased use of renewable energy and improvements in process heat technology, as well as vehicle diesel and process technology. A breakthrough. In terms of international cooperation, Rio Tinto cooperates with industry-leading industrial chains, such as China Baowu Iron and Steel Group, Tsinghua University, Nippon Steel Corporation, etc., and jointly develops carbon-free electrolytic aluminum technology with the joint venture ELYSIS. In terms of strengthening the ability to deal with climate physical risks, Rio Tinto has conducted written reviews, case studies and climate modelling, and evaluated the resilience and key risks of production and operation units. In order to better implement corporate internal guidance and management and control, Rio Tinto has formulated a series of management and control methods and improved the overall management and control structure to form a consistent and high-quality group management and control policy.
Rio Tinto’s goal is to reduce absolute emissions by 15% and emission intensity by 30% by 2030 on top of the 2018 equity share emissions benchmark, that is, to reduce absolute emissions by 45% compared to 2010. To support these goals, Rio Tinto has pledged to invest approximately US$1 billion in emission reduction projects within the first five years of the 10-year target period.
Rusal
Rusal is one of the large and thriving companies in Russia and one of the leading companies in the world’s aluminum industry. The company unites the most powerful companies in the aluminum industry in Russia and abroad to form a full production process company from raw material mining and processing to primary aluminum, semi-finished products, alloy aluminum and finished aluminum.
In terms of environmental protection, RUSAL’s strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions includes effective treatment of production waste, development of carbon-free technology for aluminum production based on inert anodes, and a five-year large-scale afforestation project. At the same time, since 2007, the Krasnoyarsk Aluminum Smelter has been working hard to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, such as being equipped with modern two-stage gas purification equipment. In addition, RUSAL has taken over the planting and care of 1 million pine trees on 250 hectares of land in the Krasnoyarsk region and Irkutsk Oblast, and carried out atmospheric protection work in the forestry field of Kuradinsky. More than 600,000 hectares.
In terms of product technology research and development, in 2017, RUSAL launched its new low-carbon aluminum brand “ALLOW”. The individual greenhouse gas emissions of this brand are far below the average carbon footprint of the industry, with an average carbon footprint of 2.4 tons of carbon dioxide per ton of aluminum. Equivalent, in line with the ever-changing market demand for low-carbon aluminum. At the same time, RUSAL tested a pilot industrial electrolysis cell with an inert anode, which has an improved design and record low carbon emissions; RUSAL also launched the electrolysis production line of the Poguhansky Aluminum Plant, relying on its advanced With its technology and the advantages of all hydropower, it can provide high-quality and low-carbon footprint aluminum ingots for remelting.
On January 18, 2021, Rusal proposed a goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 35% by 2030, and a goal of achieving net zero emissions by 2050. These goals cover all emissions from all businesses, including aluminum production and thermal power. Production.
Alcoa
Alcoa is the world’s leading manufacturer of alumina, electrolytic aluminum, and aluminum processed products. Its products cover the aerospace, automotive, packaging, construction, commercial transportation, consumer electronics and other markets.
In terms of scrap aluminum recycling, Alcoa’s casting operations are produced by recycling externally purchased scrap. Its EcoDura aluminum contains at least 50% of scrap aluminum, while the recyclable content of the aluminum strip produced by Warwick is 38.3% in 2020, compared with the same period last year. An increase of 9.9%. It is reported that in 2020, Alcoa consumed approximately 123,000 tons of scrap aluminum in its global operations. In terms of product technology research and development, Alcoa’s global alumina plant investment portfolio has the lowest carbon footprint among global producers. It currently intends to reduce the greenhouse gas footprint of the aluminum smelting process through process improvement and portfolio evaluation, including the The proportion of renewable energy in the energy consumption of smelters will increase from 78% in 2020 to over 85% in 2025. At the same time, Alcoa is studying the use of solar heat to provide heat to replace fossil fuels, and its refining business is also working to decarbonize the alumina refining process. Its revolutionary ELYSIS joint venture technology is also under development, dedicated to eliminating direct greenhouse gas emissions.
In terms of international cooperation, Alcoa is actively supporting and participating in the work of the International Aluminum Association (IAI) to identify ways and opportunities for industrial decarbonization.
In 2020, Alcoa has set a new long-term goal, aligning the greenhouse gas (direct + indirect) emission reduction target with the decarbonization route below 2°C stipulated in the Paris Climate Agreement, and pledged to reduce the intensity of greenhouse gas emissions by 2025 30%, 50% reduction by 2030 (based on 2015).
American Century Aluminum
Century Aluminum is a global primary aluminum producer with a total production capacity of 1.016 million tons of primary aluminum. The smelters are three Hawesville, Robards and Mt. Holly in the United States, and one Grundartangi in Iceland.
In terms of product technology research and development, Century Aluminum has launched NaturAlTM green aluminum products. It has also redesigned the Fliesengen carbon anode facility and new electrolysis cells through technological innovation to optimize energy use and production capacity. As a result, output has increased. By about 20%, while reducing energy consumption by 10%. In 2020, the Holly Smelter will reduce emissions by implementing equipment refurbishment to solve the problem of fugitive dust emissions.
In terms of low-carbon publicity, Century Aluminum has set up parking lots equipped with electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in Northern Europe to provide employees with free electric vehicle charging; at the same time, there is also a carpool commuting plan in Nordoral, which not only reduces car exhaust Impact on the environment and help employees build a sense of community. The goals of these two projects are to reduce the carbon footprint of the company and employees, and to promote the development of environmentally friendly transportation.
For future emission reduction targets, Century Aluminum has committed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and waste by 40% by 2030 (using 2015 as the baseline).
Glencore
Glencore Group is headquartered in Baar, Switzerland. It is the world’s largest commodity trader. Its business scope covers production, procurement, processing, smelting, transportation, storage, financing, the supply of metals and minerals, energy products and agricultural products. Glencore supports the global climate change goals set forth in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement, and supports the absorption and integration of emission reduction technologies, as well as the use of technologies by prioritizing investment in recycled metals, cooperating with upstream and downstream industrial chains Measures such as improving resource utilization efficiency and adopting transparent management methods to further reduce the carbon footprint of the company’s products.
Glencore pledged to reduce its total emissions by 40% in absolute terms by 2035 (based on 2019) and achieve net zero emissions by 2050.
Enlightenment for my country’s Aluminum Corporation
For my country’s aluminum industry, carbon emission reduction should not only involve electrolytic aluminum, but also work together at all levels of the entire industry chain. The aluminum processing industry is the downstream of the aluminum industry chain. Although the emissions of aluminum processing are relatively low, aluminum products carry the carbon emissions of the entire life cycle of aluminum production. The carbon emissions of raw materials will be accumulated in aluminum products, forming aluminum products “Carbon Footprint”. According to IAI calculations, the carbon footprint of global aluminum throughout its life cycle averages 11.8t.CO2/t.aluminum. According to Antaike’s calculations, due to the relatively high proportion of primary aluminum raw materials in the production of aluminum in China, the low level of reclaimed use of secondary aluminum, and the high emission level of primary aluminum production, the carbon emissions of China’s aluminum throughout its life cycle are significantly higher. At the global average level, it reaches 16t.CO2/t. aluminum. On the other hand, aluminum can help many terminal industries to achieve carbon reduction goals. As a link between the aluminum industry and terminal applications, aluminum must strive to promote carbon reduction practices in the terminal industry to justify the “green” characteristics of aluminum.
The emission reduction ideas of large-scale foreign comprehensive aluminum companies in coordinating the entire industry chain are very worthy of the Chinese aluminum industry and enterprises to learn from. In addition to the energy-intensive upstream production links such as electrolytic aluminum, which need to increase the proportion of clean energy and improve the energy structure, the downstream links of aluminum processing also need to undertake the important task of reducing the carbon footprint of the entire life cycle of the aluminum industry: first, it is necessary to deeply integrate aluminum regeneration and processing. Improve the waste aluminum classification and recycling system, not only create a closed-loop recycling system for new scrap, but also establish a closed-loop recycling system for end-of-life products, maximize the degraded recycling of scrap aluminum, and reduce the carbon footprint of aluminum from the raw material side; the second is to further deepen With the cooperation of the upstream and downstream industrial chains, the production of aluminum materials has further moved closer to aluminum water resources, especially the aluminum water from clean energy, which will increase the proportion of short processes and achieve energy saving and emission reduction. On the basis of chemical technology, we must further deepen the potential of tapping. On the other hand, we must open up ideas to research disruptive technologies, such as the research and development and practice of inert anodes. Fourth, we will further tap the performance potential to help more end industries achieve carbon reduction goals, and at the same time To rectify the characteristics of “green” aluminum through carbon reduction practices in the terminal industry; fifth, to strengthen the publicity and guidance of aluminum companies, to start carbon emission reduction awareness from everyone, and regularly organize low-carbon and environmental protection special meetings to share, and strengthen corporate employees Pay attention to carbon reduction.

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