What future for primary aluminium production in a decarbonizing economy?

Pedneault, J., Majeau-Bettez, G., Krey, V. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-0307-3515, & Margni, M. (2021). What future for primary aluminium production in a decarbonizing economy? Global Environmental Change 69 e102316. 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2021.102316.

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Abstract

Aluminium is an energy intensive material with an environmental footprint strongly dependent on the electricity mix consumed by the smelting process. This study models prospective environmental impacts of primary aluminium production according to different integrated assessment modeling scenarios building on Shared Socioeconomic Pathways and their climate change mitigation scenarios. Results project a global average carbon intensity ranging between 8.6 and 18.0 kg CO2 eq/kg in 2100, compared to 18.3 kg CO2 eq/kg at present, that could be further reduced under mitigation scenarios. Co-benefits with other environmental indicators are observed. Scaling aluminium production impacts to the global demand shows total emission between 1250 and 1590 Gt CO2 eq for baseline scenarios by 2050 while absolute decoupling is only achievable with stringent climate policy changing drastically the electricity mix. Achieving larger emission reductions will require circular strategies that go beyond primary material production itself and involve other stakeholders along the aluminium value chain.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Primary aluminium production; Carbon footprint; Scenario modelling; Shared socioeconomic pathways; Life cycle assessment
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Sustainable Service Systems (S3)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2021 08:07
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:35
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17331

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