Replacing coal with charcoal for carbon-neutral silicon

A plan for CO2 and energy-neutral silicon production


tonnes potential saving of carbon per year

Silicon producer Elkem has initiated a landmark research programme to replace fossil coal with sustainable charcoal in their production process.

Carbon Neutral Metal Production aims to produce charcoal from Norwegian biomass, in the same facility as silicon and ferrosilicon production. Excess heat would also be recovered and used to produce electricity.

Such a plant would become CO2 and energy neutral, saving around 1.6 million tonnes of carbon per year.

The main barriers so far have been commercial. A pyrolysis plant would need to sell significant amount of heat to other industrial actors. In addition, long-term contracts for word at reasonable prices would have to be available.

Replacement of coal with biomass-produced charcoal