Hans Erik Vatne
Chief Technology Officer and Head of Hydro’s Corporate Technology Office
Hydro’s decarbonisation roadmap
Hydro has a clear ambition to industrialise technology and offer near-zero aluminium products to the market by 2030. We pursue three main paths towards zero carbon aluminium; (i) Path 1: Decarbonised Bayer process and carbon capture and storage (CCS) for existing smelter capacities. For the Bayer process we explore electrical boilers for team generation and pilot use of hydrogen for calcination, (ii) Path 2: Decarbonised Bayer process and development of Hydro’s proprietary HalZero technology for new smelter capacity. The HalZero technology is a technology based on converting alumina to aluminium chloride prior to electrolysis. Carbon monoxide is used in the chlorination, in a reaction where alumina is mixed with chlorine and carbon monoxide to produce aluminium chloride and CO2. The aluminium chloride is split by electrolysis into aluminium and chlorine and the chlorine is fed back to the start of the process and kept in a closed loop. The resulting CO2 is pure and fully concentrated and is converted to carbon monoxide and oxygen, where also the carbon monoxide is fed back to the start of the process and kept in a closed loop, and (iii) Path 3: Recycling of post-consumer scrap with decarbonised operations. To get all the way to zero carbon aluminium we are also exploring ways to decarbonise our casthouse operations.
Hans Erik Vatne is Chief Technology Officer in Hydro and head of Hydro’s Corporate Technology Office. He holds a Master degree in Physics and a PhD in Metallurgy, both from The Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway. He has more than 20 years of experience within the aluminium industry in Hydro, holding positions in R&D, management positions in rolling and recycling and lately Chief Technology Officer. Vatne is also chairman of the portfolio board for energy, transport and low emissions of the Research Council of Norway.