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Concentric co-casting aluminum low carbon road
Feb 7,2021 08:26CST
Source:China Nonferrous Metals Daily
The content below was translated by Tencent automatically for reference.

To protect the earth and advocate low carbon, China has set an example to the world. President Xi Jinping made a solemn commitment at the general debate of the 75th session of the United Nations General Assembly last year that China will strive to achieve carbon peak by 2030 and carbon neutralization by 2060. At the Central Economic work Conference, "doing a good job of carbon peak and carbon neutralization" was also listed as one of the key tasks of this year. There is no doubt that reducing carbon emissions will also be the top priority for the development of China's aluminum industry and even the whole non-ferrous metal industry this year and in the next few years.

According to relevant data, the total amount of greenhouse gas emitted by the global heavy industry has exceeded 10 billion tons, while the global aluminum industry emits 1.1 billion tons of carbon dioxide every year. In 2020, the output of electrolytic aluminum in China is 37.08 million tons, accounting for about half of the global output. According to the rough calculation of this data, the total annual carbon dioxide emissions of China's electrolytic aluminum industry is about 424 million tons, accounting for about 5% of global carbon dioxide emissions.

The carbon dioxide produced in the production process of electrolytic aluminum is mainly concentrated in the electric energy consumption, and the carbon emissions vary greatly according to the different energy used. It is estimated that about 11.2 tons of carbon dioxide is emitted from coal-fired electricity to produce tons of aluminum, while the emission target of using hydropower is almost zero. At present, China's electrolytic aluminum production capacity uses coal and electricity energy accounts for about 86%, hydropower and aluminum accounts for about 14%.

In a word, electrolytic aluminum, as a high energy load, should be the key to carbon reduction in aluminum industry. Adjusting energy structure and looking for green energy should be the main way for electrolytic aluminum industry to achieve low-carbon development.

In the past two years, China's aluminum enterprises are also taking active action to transfer their production capacity to areas rich in green energy. For example, Chinalco Group, Weiqiao Entrepreneurship, Zhongfu Industry and other enterprises have transferred electrolytic aluminum production capacity to Yunnan, Sichuan and other areas rich in hydropower energy.

Of course, electrolytic aluminum production should not only use hydropower, but also effectively promote the use of solar energy, wind energy, natural gas and other clean energy production.

It is reported that at present, the Global Aluminum Company of the United Arab Emirates has realized the use of solar power to start smelting aluminum, which is also the first company in the world to use solar energy to produce primary aluminum.

Some local governments in China are also taking the initiative to break through the bottleneck of low-carbon energy supply, seek diversified green energy construction, and accelerate the pace of carbon reduction.

Yunnan Province, the new "Aluminum Valley of China", recently announced that it will promote the construction of 8 million kilowatt wind power and 3 million kilowatt photovoltaic projects this year, cultivate hydrogen energy and energy storage industry, and accelerate the construction of "photovoltaic capital of the world".

In addition to the electrolytic aluminum industry, the aluminum processing industry is also actively improving the use of electricity and energy. At present, Baowu Aluminum Technology Co., Ltd. is also promoting the construction of a distributed photovoltaic power project on the roof of the plant, which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by about 9800 tons per year compared with coal-fired power plants.

In addition, in addition to trying to control carbon and reduce carbon from the energy side, other aspects can not be ignored. For example, through technological innovation, we should continue to improve production efficiency and reduce energy consumption and emissions per ton of aluminum; continue to strictly control new primary aluminum production capacity and promote the construction of recycled aluminum industry; promote aluminum application and give full play to the green effect of aluminum products in production and life, balance the low-carbon coefficient of aluminum products throughout the life cycle of aluminum products from the perspective of the whole industry chain.

At present, carbon trading involving the aluminum industry is on its way. Recently, 80 aluminum-owned power plants have been included in the "list of key emission units included in the management of national carbon emissions trading quotas from 2019 to 2020" issued by the Ministry of Ecology and Environment.

It can be seen that low-carbon production is not only the social responsibility of enterprises, but also the embodiment of the competitiveness of production costs. If the difference in carbon emissions between hydropower and coal power is 11 tons and the carbon emissions trading price is 50 yuan per ton, then a ton of aluminum will generate a carbon cost of more than 500 yuan.

Therefore, no matter from which point of view, green and low carbon is a necessary test for the development of aluminum industry. Although clean energy is relatively scarce in China, and there is limited space to improve the consumption reduction index from the leading aluminum electrolysis technology, the task of carbon reduction is bound to be full of challenges and a long way to go.

However, although "the road is long and long", we firmly believe that "action is coming". At present, China's two major aluminum enterprises have set an example-Chinalco Group and Weiqiao Venture Group jointly issued a green and low-carbon development initiative to the industry. A low-carbon development road of the aluminum industry with Chinese characteristics is taking shape, which will contribute more to the aluminum industry in the journey of reducing carbon.

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