Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

H2020

Arctus Report Summary

Project ID: 729519

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - Arctus (Turn-key modular aluminium smelter for a Zero Emission Production Process)

Reporting period: 2016-06-01 to 2016-09-30

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Aluminium production, based on the conventional Hall-Héroult process, is the most carbon intensive process in metallurgy, with 95.5 M t of annual carbon dioxide emissions around the world, which represents 2% of world emissions. Consumable carbon anodes represent 18% of production costs. Furthermore, electricity costs is third of production costs, representing €57M of the annual cost for a 100,000 tpy smelter. Electricity prices in Europe rose by more than 20% since 2007, which reduced the competitiveness of the EU aluminium industry. Thus, Europe is not self-dependent any-more and half of the aluminium is today imported. Contribution to European Challenges of the project is immense since it addresses an industry which employs around 255 thousand people in some 600 companies.
Based on the patented Beck cell concept, Arctus Metals Ltd. (AM) developed the Arctus turn-key modular aluminium smelter, by using a new zero emission production process, which also consumes 25% less electricity.

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

During Phase 1, competing R&D activities around the world were identified: the analysis ensured that, with the info publicly available, the Beck Cell technology is the one with the highest impact vs. competing technologies. The product development plan was drafted carefully addressing risks and counteractions. Compared to the initial assessment for the Phase 1 application, the business feasibility revealed market dynamics that suggest to commercialize the technology onto the segment of primary smelters in the EU, EFTA and the U.S. markets instead of aluminium semi-material and aluminium product manufacturers. Its 5-years marketing plan is to upgrade 19 smelters and gain thus 21% market share. Importantly, several stakeholders were contacted and potential partnerships both on product development and on commercialization were discussed. Arctus also raised the interest of smelters in Iceland and in Germany.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The expected outcome of the project is to design, engineer and construct various scale prototypes (120 A, 1.800 A and 9.000 A), to perform operational and long term tests in a laboratory environment in Iceland. During these tests the performance of the Beck Cell technology will be optimized and demonstration and dissemination activities performed. To perform these activities key partners in Iceland and around the world were scouted and identified. The successful demonstration of the 9.000 A scale will fully validate the technology and Arctus’ founders are confident that potential investors or future smelting customers will be interested in investing into the commercialization of the technology against equity share (investors) or discounted selling price (customers).

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