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Climate 16. October 2023

Partnership for developing CO2 capture solution

Fives is developing the first CO2 capture solution for the aluminium industry.

Fives Group has built its technological leadership in partnership with numerous industrial companies in every sector, and is now extending its partnership approach to carbon capture
Fives Group has built its technological leadership in partnership with numerous industrial companies in every sector, and is now extending its partnership approach to carbon capture

The industrial engineering group is developing this solution through a consortium project with Aluminium Dunkerque, Trimet and Rio Tinto. This consortium aims to achieve a 50 % reduction in direct CO2 emissions (excluding energy sources) from primary aluminium production by 2030. With more than 60 years’ experience in the capture and processing of industrial emissions, Fives has outstanding expertise to contribute to the production of greener aluminium.

Primary aluminium production accounts for 2% of global climate gas emissions, which corresponds to a global average of 16.1 t of CO2/t Al produced (in France, the average is less than 5 t/CO2).

Combining expertise

“Working in partnership guarantees the development of solutions that meet the needs of the field and are tested immediately under real operating conditions.  Combining the experts in each technology means that a complete, high-performance solution can be achieved quicky”, says Sebastien Gauguier, CEO of Fives’ Aluminium division.

Aluminium Dunkerque and Trimet in St Jean de Maurienne will be combining their expertise to help develop this technology on their respective sites. Rio Tinto, one of the world’s largest aluminium producers, has expertise in the electrolysis process. Fives brings its technology for capturing and treating gas emissions from primary aluminium production.

From pilot to industrial phase

The project, which is part of the France 2030 plan, will shortly be submitted to the French Environment and Energy Management Agency. 

As the first step towards radical decarbonisation, the project comprises two main stages at the Trimet St Jean de Maurienne and Aluminium Dunkerque sites: experimentation in test pots and prototype installation during 2024 to 2027, industrial deployment of the technology on part of the sites from 2028. The aim is to reduce emissions by 50 % by 2030

About the technology

This involves using carbon capture technologies to collect the carbon emitted during the production of primary aluminium in the pots at source. The aim of the project is to help design, prototype and develop this technology for the aluminium sector. While the carbon capture process has already been tried and tested in various industrial sectors, such as petrochemicals and thermal power stations, it is still at the industrial research stage for aluminium.

The technology approach includes three main steps:

  1. Collection of CO2-laden gases as close as possible to the source of emission in the electrolysis pot. This choice optimizes the concentration rate and the volume of CO2 collected in the flue gas.
  2. Installation of an innovative gas treatment centre to purify these gases, which are more concentrated than usual, to make them compatible with the CO2 capture process.
  3. Capture of CO2 using an absorption process with amine solvents.

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