Canadian Manufacturing

ELYSIS selects Alma smelter for installation of inert anode technology

$20 million CAD investment by the Government of Quebec to bring forward the start of work at the site.

April 20, 2021  by CM Staff

ELYSIS selects Alma smelter for commercial size 450 kA inert anode prototype cells (CNW Group/ELYSIS)

MONTREAL — On Apr. 20, ELYSIS announced that it had selected the Alma smelter, operated by Rio Tinto in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec, for the first installation and demonstration of its inert anode technology at a commercial size of 450 kiloamperes (kA).

ELYSIS is a joint venture company, led by Alcoa and Rio Tinto, that is working to commercialize a new technology to make aluminum that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the traditional smelting process and instead produces oxygen.

As part of its technology development and scale-up, ELYSIS will install industrial inert anode prototype cells at the end of an existing potline at the Alma smelter to demonstrate the technology’s effectiveness at a commercial scale in an industrial operating environment. This will build on ongoing work at the nearby ELYSIS Industrial Research and Development Centre, also located in the Saguenay region of Quebec.

ELYSIS plans to commercialise its technology in 2024, for use in retrofitting existing smelters and installation in new facilities.

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Investment by the Government of Quebec
The 450 kA cells at Alma will be supported by a $20 million CAD investment from the Government of Quebec to help bring forward the start of work at the site and to further strengthen the capability of manufacturing businesses in the region to supply specialized equipment required for the ELYSIS(TM) technology.

Alcoa’s Technical Center supports ELYSIS in the manufacture of proprietary materials for the new anodes and cathodes that are essential to the ELYSIS(TM) process. The Rio Tinto technology team in France is creating commercial scale designs for the ELYSIS(TM) technology.

“Our team is thrilled to be taking a significant step forward in the development of technology that will position ELYSIS as a leader of tomorrow’s aluminium industry technology. We would like to thank our provincial government for their support in our breakthrough technology. We look forward to using the new 450 kA inert anode cells to demonstrate to the industry that decarbonizing aluminium production while improving its competitiveness is not just a mere dream.” said Vincent Christ, Chief Executive Officer, ELYSIS.


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