KARMOEY, Norway/LONDON (Reuters) – In the cavernous chamber of Norsk Hydro’s aluminum smelter on the Norwegian island of Karmoey, the magnetic forces are so strong they make heavy iron wrenches float out of the hands of workers.
The company is piloting a technology that tames the effects of that powerful magnetic field, which is a consequence of the electrolysis process to make aluminum and leaches away energy.
Norsk Hydro told Reuters it was using mathematical models to mitigate the effect of the magnetism and other energy waste. The pilot project can cut the amount of energy used in production by 15% compared to the industry average, the company said, but declined to disclose further details, citing commercial sensitivity.
The technique is one of the drives that Hydro is banking on to make good on its ambitious pledge to become carbon neutral from next year – meaning it can balance out its emissions with carbon savings elsewhere.
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