Rio Tinto Plc (LON:RIO) has received support from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) to study the potential of clean hydrogen replacing natural gas in alumina refineries, it was announced on Wednesday.
The Anglo-Australian mining group will carry out a AUD-1.2-million (USD 921,000/EUR 762,000) study, equally funded by the company and ARENA, into whether renewable hydrogen can be used instead of natural gas in the calcination process of refining at its Yarwun alumina refinery in Gladstone in the Australian state of Queensland. The study will show whether a demonstration project would be viable.
“If successful, the technical and commercial lessons from Rio Tinto’s study could lead to the implementation of hydrogen calcination technology, not only in Australia, but also internationally,” said ARENA chief executive Darren Miller.
Australia is the world’s largest exporter of alumina and the sector is a key target in ARENA's strategy to help industry reduce emissions, the government agency said.
Rio Tinto has an objective of achieving net zero emissions across its operations by 2050.
“We recognise we are on a long road towards reducing emissions across our operations and there is clearly more work to be done. But projects such as this are an important part of helping us get there,” said Rio Tinto Aluminium Pacific Operations acting managing director Daniel van der Westhuizen.
(AUD 1.0 = USD 0.768/EUR 0.635)
Choose your newsletter by Renewables Now. Join for free!