Elkem R&D projects awarded more than 40 million NOK

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Oslo, 2 February 2017: The Research Council of Norway (RCN) has awarded Elkem funding for six new projects in 2017. All six projects will give valuable contributions to Elkem’s long term strategy for product specialisation and reduced environmental footprint.

Elkem’s projects will receive more than 40 million NOK of the 950 million NOK awarded by the RCN in 2017. The funding awarded to Elkem and our partners is an important enabler for our comprehensive portfolio of R&D investments. Elkem’s own financing for these projects will be about twice the amount of the awarded funds from RCN, says Håvard Moe, SVP Elkem Technology.

The six projects are:

  • Pyrolysis of wood optimized for production of energy and tailor-made biochar for silicon production (PyrOpt), in collaboration with SINTEF and PFI (Paper and Fibre Research Institute). This project will look at resource-effective production of high quality charcoal. Elkem’s long-term goal is to replace fossil coal with charcoal in the production processes and thereby reduce CO2 emissions from fossil sources.
  • Thermoelectric Silicides (TESil), in cooperation with TEGma and SINTEF; will develop next generation thermoelectric material for converting waste heat into electricity.
  • Silicon production with no CO2 emissions (SiNoCO2); a project together with SINTEF and NTNU, to research the possibilities of closing silicon and ferrosilicon ovens. It is central in developing processes that can be prepared for future carbon capture.
  • Wood Based Carbon Electrodes (WOCA); together with Borregaard, aims to develop bio-based binders for the metallurgical industry. 
  • Agile CasT Iron Foundries (ACTIF); in collaboration with three Norwegian foundries (Mandal Castings AS, Ulefos Jernværk AS, Furnes Jernstøperi AS) and SINTEF Materials and Chemistry. The aim of the project is to help the consortium foundries to improve their competitiveness and to reach new markets for high performance products by customising cast iron alloys.
  • Silicon-based intermetallics for Additive Manufacturing; a 3D printing project together with SINTEF, which has the goal of producing equipment and machines which can handle high temperature and great wear and tear.

We invest in these projects because we are dedicated to being on the technological front line and to delivering the highest possible quality to our customers at all times. The portfolio of projects reflects how Elkem is preparing for the challenges of the future, with increased focus on specialty products and environmentally responsible production, added Håvard Moe, SVP Elkem Technology.

Carbon neutral metal production in Elkem

PyrOpt og SiNoCO2 are two key projects in Elkem’s research programme Carbon neutral metal production. The long term goal is to develop CO2 neutral production processes through the replacement of fossil reduction agents with bio-based reduction agents in the form of sustainable  biocarbon.

Research and development in Elkem

The 113-year-old history of Elkem is characterised by a strong will to conduct long-term research and development work. Elkem is dedicated to advancing the production of metals and materials through long-term R&D and innovation projects. As a result, Elkem’s innovation strategy covers both incremental innovation and step-change innovation. More than 370 employees work on R&D related issues in Elkem. Elkem spent approximately 35 mill Euros on R&D and innovation in 2015.

For more information about R&D in Elkem: www.elkem.com/technology-and-innovation

About Elkem

Elkem is one of the world’s leading providers of silicon-related advanced materials. The company is a fully integrated producer with operations throughout the silicon value chain from quartz, silicon and downstream silicone specialties as well as specialty alloys for the foundry industry, carbon products and microsilica. Headquartered in Norway, Elkem has a strong global footprint, with approximately 3800 employees, 24 production plants, two research centers and sales offices in over 50 countries. Elkem is owned by China National Bluestar.

Contact information

Kristin Karlstad, VP Public Affairs, tel: +47 99 22 66 04, e-post: kristin.karlstad@elkem.no


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