part of the solution
 
waste synergies help tackle climate change
Alcoa and Simcoa, a large producer of silicon in WA, are working together to reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions and be part of the solution to climate change.

The forest clearing undertaken to mine bauxite ore in the Darling Range (bauxite is processed to make alumina) creates a challenge around carbon dioxide emissions. All of the cleared wood was once burned, emitting carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.  Now, however, Simcoa is using a large amount of that wood to make charcoal, which is essential to its business.  The arrangement means Alcoa is reducing its environmental footprint though reduced burning.

Mine Environmental Scientist at Alcoa’s Huntly mine, Larry Hantler said it was a great example of industries working together to form waste synergies to help combat climate change.

“Recycling the wood reduces the amount of burning, smoke pollution and CO2 emissions from mine clearing operations."
 
In 2008, Alcoa reduced our wood waste burning by 56% compared to the total available.
 
"This equates to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of over 20,000 tonnes of CO2 - which is the equivalent to the yearly emissions from more than 4,700 cars,” Larry said.

“At Alcoa, we are constantly looking for ways to reduce our greenhouse footprint and help other industries do the same,” he said.

“We are actively looking for ways in which to totally wipe out all burning.   We are investigating ways to form relationships with other industries, like our relationship with Simcoa, so this can be achieved.”
 
But the waste reduction chain doesn’t stop there.  A by-product of Simcoa’s charcoal production process, mulch, is proving to be a valuable resource for Alcoa.  Alcoa has been purchasing the mulch from Simcoa and using it as both a dust suppressant in our residue areas and as a soil stabilisation medium for our residue rehabilitation.

Simcoa and Alcoa’s relationship extends much further too.  Simcoa’s product, silicon, is mixed with our product, aluminium, to create alloys - the silicon component making the alloys incredibly strong. 
 
Furthermore the light weight high strength alloy helps reduce greenhouse gas emissions when used in vehicle manufacturing.  The cars are manufactured lighter which makes them more fuel efficient, therefore reducing the amount of emissions going into the atmosphere.

Meantime Alcoa’s Kwinana Refinery is also working with other industries to reduce waste, in the form of our award winning carbon capture technology.

This technology, developed in Western Australia, locks up carbon dioxide that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. The Kwinana plant has the capacity to lock up 70,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year.  The carbon dioxide locked up by Alcoa’s carbon capture plant comes from a nearby ammonia plant and is another demonstration of industry forming sustainability partnerships to re-use waste products.
 
Through our membership of the Kwinana Industries Council we continue to contribute to research into how Kwinana industries can achieve ‘waste’ synergies by using each others’ by-products.
 
The Technology Delivery Group (TDG), Alcoa’s global refining research and development group based at Kwinana, set a new world benchmark for the alumina industry with the creation of carbon capture.

Read more our approach to finding solutions to climate change.


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Alcoa and Simcoa are working together to be part of the solution to climate change



Click image to enlarge.


Our Kwinana Refinery is also working with other industries to reduce waste, in the form of our award winning carbon capture technology



Click image to enlarge.


The Technology Delivery Group (TDG), Alcoa’s global refining research and development group based at Kwinana, set a new world benchmark for the alumina industry with the creation of carbon capture