Norway-based sustainable industry company Hydro is accelerating its decarbonisation efforts following a $20m (£14.7m) investment – giving it minority ownership position - in carbon capture specialist Verdox to help capture emissions produced from its aluminium smelter technology.

Having entered a collaboration last year (2021), the companies have already tested the applicability of Verdox’s carbon dioxide (CO2) capture technology that will be used to capture emissions from the off gas of Hydro’s aluminium smelters. 

The next phase will see the technology itself tested and piloted at Hydro’s aluminium smelters with the goal of reaching industrial scale by 2030. 

Revealing that a key part of the company’s sustainability ambitions is to reduce emissions from its aluminium smelters, Eivind Kallevik, Executive Vice President of Aluminium Metal, Hydro, added, “Hydro is well placed to be an active shareholder and contribute competence and experience that will add value to Verdox.” 

“The cooperation will speed up the decarbonisation of our smelters.” 

Illustration of how the technology will work

Illustration of how the technology will work

Source: Hydro

Verdox’s all-electric carbon capture technology can capture emissions from both industrial off-gas and directly from air (direct air capture – DAC). 

Although the off gas in aluminium smelters has a relatively low concentration of CO2 (around 1%), the demand for aluminium is anticipated to grow by about 70% by 2050 as the green transition progresses. 

According to Kallevik, Hydro’s roadmap to zero-carbon aluminium production will involve not only carbon capture, but its own HalZero zero-emission electrolysis technology. 

This allows for the production of aluminium where the only emission is oxygen. 

“In this way, we increase our chances of delivering on our climate ambitions and taking the lead in the aluminium industry,” said Kallevik.