Tech advances promise “historic” shift in sustainable aluminium

Megan Lampinen explores how Russian company RUSAL is leading the sustainability shift within the aluminium industry

The automotive industry is under pressure to clean up emissions from both vehicles and manufacturing operations. For many, that means exploring new production methods and materials.

Lightweight and infinitely recyclable, aluminium has been championed by manufacturers as they scramble to reduce vehicle weight and improve lifecycle emissions. Lightweight aluminium-intensive vehicles have typically 12% lower lifecycle CO2 emissions compared to steel vehicles, achieving a carbon emissions payback of 60,000km when higher carbon inputs from raw materials are offset with improved fuel economy.

The trouble is that the process of producing aluminium requires enormous amounts of energy and accounts for between 2% and 4% of total global emissions….