The Canadian Government and two of the world’s biggest aluminium producers, Alcoa and Rio Tinto, announced a “breakthrough” technology that would see the removal of carbon dioxide from the smelting process. The new process uses a proprietary material that was developed over decade ago, which is used in place of carbon, and releases oxygen during the smelting process instead of carbon dioxide.
This technology could reduce the amount of carbon dioxide produced by 6.5 billion tonnes a year in Canada alone, and reduce operating costs by 15%. However, aluminium production still requires large amounts of energy for the smelting process. If they could obtain their energy from renewable sources it would further reduce the industry's overall carbon footprint.