Rio Tinto began construction on the first commercial-scale prototype cells of ELYSIS’ inert-anode technology at its Alma smelter in Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean, Quebec.

ELYSIS is a joint-venture company led by Rio Tinto and Alcoa that is developing a new technology, known as inert anode, that eliminates all direct greenhouse gases (GHGs) from the traditional smelting process and instead produces oxygen. According to Rio Tinto, it has the potential to transform the aluminum industry. ELYSIS is working to complete the technology demonstration by 2024, followed by commercialization activities.

The inert-anode prototype cells will operate on a commercial scale typical for large modern aluminum smelters using an electrical current of 450 kiloamperes (kA).