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Elkem Receives NOK16 Million as Environmental R&D Funds
Source: ChemChina Date: 2022-01-14

Elkem received NOK 16 million from the Research Council of Norway to develop a new silicon production technology that removes all direct carbon dioxide emissions. This conceptual technology may have a disruptive effect in the global silicon industry.

Elkem serves as a global pacesetter in producing advanced materials based on silicon, one key material for digital technology and green transformation, engaging itself in addressing global climate change and striving to achieve leadership in the green transition.

Elkem’s smelters discharge 2.1 million tons of carbon dioxide annually, making up 90% of its total direct emissions. However, Elkem has set ambitious targets in responding to global climate change to cut carbon dioxide emissions to 28% by 2031 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050. The R&D projects covered by the above funding are focused on Elkem’s 2050 goal.

“The removal of all carbon dioxide emissions directly from silicon production can be defined as a new concept. The carbon dioxide contained in emissions from a smelter will be captured and converted into solid carbon that will be reused in the silicon production. Simply put, the carbon cycle is used to produce silicon. If we succeed, it is possible to disrupt the global silicon industry. We believe this technology will be among the dominant technologies for carbon-neutral silicon production by 2050,” said H?vard Moe, senior vice president of technology at Elkem.

“This conceptual technology is a priority for Elkem’s long-term response to climate change. Upon this technology is industrialized, it will significantly cut carbon dioxide emissions in the company’s silicon production so as to enable Elkem to be more competitive in the market. In addition, Elkem can issue technology licenses to other manufacturers, thereby producing silicon with minimal climate impact on a global scale,” said the senior vice president.

This project cycle ranges from 2022 to 2024. Elkem is responsible for implementing the main part of the project, with Aasgeir Valderhaug serving as the manager. SINTEF and NORCE’s Future Materials pilot testing center, two Norwegian research institutes, will become partners in the development. Laboratory-scale experiments will be conducted at SINTEF. Small-scale experiments will be carried out at Future Materials. Elkem’s researchers will be deeply engaged in the planning, execution and evaluation of experiments. They will also be in charge of process modeling, in which NORCE will play a vital role.
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