On Monday this week, Hydro's head of technology Hans Erik Vatne officially opened the Fourteenth International Conference on Aluminium Alloys (ICAA.) Around 350 participants from 30 countries gathered at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim.
The focus of this year's conference was on technological opportunities and challenges along the entire aluminium value chain, from bauxite to finished products.
"In Hydro we focus on energy efficiency in our own processes, recycling and the development of sustainable product solutions that reduce our customers' energy consumption and emissions. This is how we will reach our ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2020," said Vatne at the conference.
Aluminium is part of the solution
Recently it was announced that the public agency Enova will provide Hydro with financial support to test out next generation electrolysis technology in a full-scale pilot plant in Karmøy. If Hydro builds this technology pilot, it will be the most energy efficient and environmentally effective production line for aluminium in the world.
"Hydro is well on its way to develop the most efficient electrolysis technology. The aluminium industry is making great efforts to increase the attractiveness of the metal, but stiff competition between different materials demands that we develop new markets and applications," says Vatne.
Less emissions, more expertise
According to the head of technology, there is a growing need for industry and academia to build up knowledge about aluminium production. Vatne calls for even greater expertise in the metallurgy research communities, and also highlights the importance of developing new modeling tools to help aluminium move into new application areas.
"We must constantly innovate and look for new development opportunities for aluminium. Lower emissions and more energy efficiency through the production processes are necessary to produce an even greener and more attractive metal. Aluminium is the metal of the future, but it will not get there by itself," says Vatne.