A multinational mining company is introducing clean energy to replace fossil resources.
Rio Tinto is investigating ways to replace liquefied natural gas (LNG) at its Yarwun Alumina Refinery, 12km northwest of Gladstone.
The company is working with the federally funded Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to determine whether hydrogen can produce lower carbon emissions than LNG during the calcination process of refining.
QMEB can reveal the $1.2 million feasibility study is expected to involve multiple calcination simulations in a lab-scale reactor at the Bundoora Technical Development Centre.
‘Replace fossil fuels’
Results will be used to create a demonstration project and eventually support rolling out hydrogen calcination technology across Australia and the world.
“If we can replace fossil fuels with clean hydrogen in the refining process for alumina, this will reduce emissions in the energy and emissions intensive refining stage of the aluminium supply chain,” ARENA CEO Darren Miller said in a public statement.
“Exploring these new clean energy technologies and methods is a crucial step towards producing green aluminium.”
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Rio hopes the study will help achieve its goal of net zero emissions across all operations by the year 2050.