Alcoa Corporation announced today that it is supplying sustainable aluminum for the wheels on the Audi e-tron GT, the first vehicle to ever use metal from a revolutionary technology that eliminates all direct carbon dioxide emissions from the traditional smelting process.
Alcoa is supplying aluminum to RONAL GROUP for the manufacture of the Audi e-tron GT’s high-performance alloy wheels, produced with a combination of metal from the ELYSISTM zero-carbon emissions smelting technology and EcoLum™, Alcoa’s low-carbon aluminum brand.
Alcoa invented the zero-carbon emissions technology that ELYSIS, a joint venture company co-founded by Alcoa, is working to ramp up to a commercial scale. The process emits pure oxygen as a byproduct and eliminates all greenhouse gas emissions by replacing the carbon anodes used in traditional aluminum smelting with inert, proprietary materials.
“Alcoa’s DNA is built on discovering the process that made aluminum a part of our everyday lives, and we’re proud to help the industry take another step forward to lower the carbon footprint of global supply chains,” said Tim Reyes, Alcoa’s Chief Commercial Officer and Executive Vice President. “Our partnership with the RONAL GROUP in supplying Audi with sustainable solutions helps make an innovative vehicle even more exciting for consumers.”
The wheels are weight optimized with RONAL GROUP’s flowforming technology and other innovations that improve overall aerodynamics. They are produced using 100 percent green electricity in Landau, Germany and used exclusively for Audi’s first electric sports car.
“For the RONAL GROUP, sustainability means ensuring the long-term success of the company while protecting our natural livelihood for the people of today and future generations,” said RONAL GROUP’s Executive Vice President Group Sales Patrick Lämmli.
The wheels also include Alcoa’s low-carbon EcoLum metal, which is produced with less than 4.0 metric tons of CO2e for every ton of metal produced, including both direct and indirect (scope 1 and scope 2) emissions across the entire production chain, including bauxite mining and alumina refining.
Marco Philippi, Audi AG’s Head of Procurement Strategy, said: “Aluminum is the focus of our CO2 program because producing this material requires a high energy input. We are therefore actively searching for innovative processes that help reduce CO2 emissions as early as possible in the creation process. The process created by ELYSIS is promising because it already takes effect in the raw material processing phase. These kinds of innovations allow us to increase our sustainability performance in the supply chain and ensure that our models arrive at the customers with a smaller carbon footprint.”
Alcoa, Audi and the RONAL GROUP are members of the Aluminium Stewardship Initiative (ASI), the industry’s most comprehensive system for third-party certification of sustainable manufacturing practices. The global non-profit includes multiple stakeholders in its certification process, including producers, users, and civil society organizations. Alcoa has earned ASI’s Performance Standard and Chain of Custody certifications, allowing the Company to market and sell ASI-certified bauxite, alumina and aluminum.
About Alcoa Corp.
Alcoa (NYSE: AA) is a global industry leader in bauxite, alumina and aluminum products, with a strong portfolio of value-added cast and rolled products and substantial energy assets. Alcoa is built on a foundation of strong values and operating excellence dating back 135 years to the world-changing discovery that made aluminum an affordable and vital part of modern life. Since inventing the aluminum industry, and throughout our history, our talented Alcoans have followed on with breakthrough innovations and best practices that have led to efficiency, safety, sustainability and stronger communities wherever we operate. Visit us online on www.alcoa.com, follow @Alcoa on Twitter and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Alcoa.
ELYSIS is a technology company created thanks to a ground-breaking partnership between two global industry leaders – Alcoa and Rio Tinto. ELYSIS’ goal is to revolutionize the way aluminum is produced across the globe, with technology that enables the production of metal without direct carbon dioxide emissions during the aluminum smelting process, instead emitting pure oxygen. The joint venture company uses inert anodes that replace the carbon anodes traditionally used during electrolysis, which is the process used to make primary aluminum. ELYSIS is currently working to scale up its zero-carbon smelting process so it can be licensed for either retrofits of existing smelters or the construction of new ones. It operates an Industrial Research & Development Center in Québec, Canada with support from Alcoa’s Technical Center outside Pittsburgh. Learn more at www.elysis.com.
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