Nitrogen oxides (NOₓ) are gases that lead to higher concentrations of tropospheric ozone, acid precipitation and global warming. These emissions can be harmful to ecosystems and vegetation, as well as health.
The formation of NOₓ takes place in the furnaces at temperatures above 1,500 °C. Understanding the processes behind the formation of NOₓ has made it possible to redesign the furnace hood on Elkem’s smelting furnaces in order to reach a significant reduction of the emissions.
Elkem emits NOₓ through its different production processes and has performed intensive studies together with different research institutions to develop technology that can give substantial reduction in emissions. We have also done several tests at our plants, including our plant in Salten, Northern Norway.
As part of our environmental strategy, we are working on preparing our smelters to even stricter limitations. We continue to upgrade our facilities in Norway, with financial support from the Norwegian NOₓ fund. Towards 2025, Elkem aims to implement projects reducing the NOₓ emissions by 1000 tonnes at Norwegian smelters.
In 2019, it was announced that Elkem Bremanger will upgrade the silicon furnace, reducing NOₓ emissions with 50%, equal to 100.000 diesel cars. The furnace was opened in March by the Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, Sveinung Rotevatn.
NOₓ emission status
Elkem's NOₓ emissions saw a decline from 7,070 tonnes in 2018 to 6,718 tonnes in 2019. This reduction comes as a result of several initiatives and projects at our plants, mainly supported by the Norwegian NOₓ fund.
The increase from 2016 to 2017 was mainly because of the inclusion of Elkem Rana, that was acquired in 2016. The Chinese plants Yongdeng and Xinghou was included in the calculation for 2018.
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As several facilities have plants in Elkem Silicon Products sites, we have prior to 2018 not divided the reporting between the divisions/smelters at the plants. From 2018, we report per division on emissions. The numbers for 2016 and 2017 does not include the plants Yongdeng, China and Limpio, Paraguay.