Silicon-based advanced materials manufacturer Elkem will test the world’s first carbon capture pilot for silicon smelters following financial support from Gassnova CLIMIT, a carbon capture and storage (CCS) research programme.

The pilot will be tested at Elkem’s plant in Rana, Norway, a facility that produces high purity ferrosilicon and microsilica.

A collaboration between several companies including SMA Mineral, Alcoa, Aker Carbon Capture (Aker), and Norcem, the pilot will see emissions from SMA Mineral entering the treatment plant, which will then be captured by Aker’s technology.

The two-year test is intended to assess how the technology works with real industrial exhaust gases from smelters, which will then lead to development of a full-scale plant for industrial carbon capture.

Calling carbon capture a ‘key technology’ to reach net zero by 2050, Helge Aasen, CEO, Elkem, said, “Our mission is to provide advanced material solutions shaping a better and more sustainable future.”

“Elkem aims to be part of the solution to combat climate change.”

A recent global climate roadmap released by the company revealed its intentions to reduce total carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 28% from 2020-31.

Elkem’s work in mitigating carbon emissions has also lead to it conducting a feasibility study for the establishment of CCS facilities to take place at its Norwegian plants.

The project will be owned by Mo Industrial Park, one of Norway’s largest industrial parks, and managed by research organisation SINTEF.

According to Jack Ødegård, Vice President Research, SINTEF, the partners have identified 1.5m tonnes of potential CO2 capture in the region, corresponding to 3% of Norway’s total emissions.

Another carbon capture project under development, Longship, will provide Elkem’s venture with key procedural knowledge.

The budget was given as NOK 23.6m ($2.8m), NOK 13.8m of which will be contributed by Gassnova CLIMIT.