Apr 21, 2022

Decarbonizing the electricity supply for aluminium production

Posted by in categories: energy, materials

How China can boost its carbon neutrality efforts by ensuring renewables account for more than 50% of the power supply for aluminium production by 2045.

Decarbonizing the power supply for primary aluminium is critical for the sector to reach net zero. Electricity used during aluminium smelting – the process of extracting the metal from its ore – accounts for more than 60% of the industry’s carbon emissions.

It is particularly important to control the carbon emissions of China’s production of primary aluminium, which comes directly from mined ore rather than using recycled or alloy materials. Primary aluminium produced and consumed in China accounts for approximately 60% of the global market. Due to the high proportion of coal-fired energy used, 12.7 tonnes of carbon is emitted per tonne of aluminium produced in China, versus a global average of 10.3 tonnes, according to the latest figures, which cover the 2005 to 2019 period. This is why decarbonizing the power supply for Chinese primary aluminium production is critical.

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