Monday, March 20, 2023
News BMW to Cut 70 Percent of CO2 From Aluminum Using Production in...

BMW to Cut 70 Percent of CO2 From Aluminum Using Production in Canada

Low emissions aluminum from new partnership

  • BMW and Rio Tinto will use a new production technique and Quebec hydro power

  • Greener alloys will be used at Spartanburg plant

BMW has just inked a deal to get aluminum with lower carbon emissions. The new agreement uses Quebec metals and hydroelectric power, along with more secondary materials and a new technique that should make a big difference to the eco-footprint of its vehicles.

Every automaker going green has acknowledged that there is more to the process than simply building electric cars. The footprint that comes with building a vehicle, EV or ICE, is big, and that’s one place where automakers can help reduce carbon emissions.

The latest focus for BMW is on those sources where it can make a quick difference. On CO2-intensive materials like aluminum, steel, and plastic. This deal with Rio Tinto will help BMW cut the CO2 emissions from its aluminum by up to 70 percent.

BMW says the carbon reduction will start with a new technology called Elysis. Developed by Rio Tinto and Alcoa, it changes how aluminum is smelted. Instead of using carbon anodes and producing CO2, Elysis technology actually generates oxygen instead. The new tech was first tested at the industrial level and BMW says it will be one of the first customers to use it in standard production.

Power for the aluminum production facilities will come from Quebec’s extensive hydro generation system. That power source cuts CO2 emissions to just one-third of the industry average, BMW says. With up to 50 percent secondary material (largely recycled aluminum) added to the process, the result is a lowering of emissions through the entire supply chain.

The green aluminum will be used at BMW’s Plant Spartanburg in North Carolina. The plant builds a range of BMW models including the BMW X3, X5, and X7.


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