SO₂ emissions

Sulphur dioxide (SO2) is produced as a by-product in a calcination furnace. SO₂ can be harmful if not controlled and results in poorer air quality in the local environment. The main focus to reduce SO2 has traditionally been to source raw materials with lower sulphur content.

Elkem is committed to apply with all applicable environmental permits and prepare our plants for stricter limits. We do this by using low-sulphur raw material when feasible. As the potential is limited, scrubbing systems must also be considered and the aim is to invest in SO₂ treatment facilities at multiple plants.

In 2018, Elkem Carbon (Norway) finished the installation of a large SO₂ filter with support from the Norwegian SO₂ fund. 

Elkem Bjølvefossen is also evaluating a similar project.

SO₂ emissions – total
2016 2017 2018 2019
6,730 tonnes 7,900 tonnes 9,076 tonnes 7,284 tonnes


The increase of emissions is mainly because the Chinese plants Yongdeng and Xinghou was included in the calculation for 2018.

SO₂ emissions – per division
(Tonnes) 2016 2017 2018 2019
Elkem Carbon 887 1,025 1,414 1,286
Elkem Foundry Products 5,857 5,871 4,204 2,862
Elkem Silicon Materials 3,337 3,098
Elkem Silicones     122 38


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.