New Elkem gets $1.8M for project aiming to eliminate CO2 emissions from silicon production

December 26, 2021 |

In Norway, the Research Council of Norway granted Elkem NOK 16 million ($1.8 million) to develop a new concept for silicon production where all direct CO2 emissions are eliminated. This may become a game changer for the global silicon industry. Silicon is a critical material for digital technologies and the green transition.

Elkem, a global leader in silicon-based advanced materials, aims to be part of the solution to combat climate change – and to be one of the winners in the green transition. The company already uses 83% renewable electricity in its operations.

Silicon production still generates significant CO2 emissions. The annual direct CO2 emissions from Elkem’s smelters are 2.1 million tons CO2, which corresponds to approximately 90% of Elkem’s total direct emissions.

In its climate roadmap, Elkem has stated ambitious goals of reducing its CO2 emissions by 28% by 2031 and achieving carbon-neutrality by 2050. The granted R&D project focuses on Elkem’s 2050 goal: How to achieve carbon neutrality at the lowest environmental footprint and competitive costs?

The project will run from 2022-2024. Elkem is project owner and Aasgeir Valderhaug is project manager. The Norwegian R&D institutes SINTEF and NORCE, and the pilot test centre Future Materials, will be research partners. The experiments on laboratory scale will be performed at SINTEF, while the experiments on bench scale will be performed at Future Materials at the Fiskaa site in Kristiansand. Elkem researchers will be deeply involved in planning, execution and evaluation of the experiments and will also be responsible for process modelling, where NORCE will have a key role.

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