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Recirculating off-gas contributes to carbon capture

Operators from Elkem Thamshavn are shown tapping liquid silicon from the furnace. Credit: Vegar Andersen

Every ton of silicon produced leads to emissions of around 5 tons of CO₂.

Carbon capture offers a possible solution to eliminate this emission, but the CO₂ concentration in the off-gas from the furnaces is often too low for CO₂ capture to be cost-effective.

One possible solution to reduce the cost is to increase the CO₂ concentration by recirculating the off-gas. The silicon manufacturer Elkem has collaborated with NTNU and SINTEF to test this idea in a pilot project.

Ambitions for carbon neutral production

Silicon production is an important industry for Norway. Silicon is used in electronics, solar cells, the polymer silicone and as an alloying element in cast alloys. Silicon is produced using what is called carbothermal reduction of quartz. This process involves relatively large CO₂ emissions.

Elkem would like attain carbon-neutral metal production ...

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