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Home > Sustainability > Net Zero Lab Valais
Replacing a gas pusher furnace with an electrical one will save around 4,500t CO2eq per year. Read more.
Water used during the casting process at the Novelis’ Sierre plant is deployed to heat up a neighbouring building. Read more.
Longstanding collaboration helps to further decarbonize the Valais region. Read more.
The team consists of 7 core members representing the collaboration partners as well as working students and subject matter experts. Net Zero Lab Valais is pleased to have attracted many talents from renowned universities within the region.
Lorenzo Aimone, EPFL, master project wood biomass; Réginald Germanier, Novelis NZLV leader; Pierre-Jean Duc, Oiken engineer, district heating; Cédric Dorsaz, HES-SO technician, district heating; Jessen Page, Professor HES-SO, district heating; François Maréchal, Professor EPFL, energy integration; Mohammad Andayesh, EPFL student, semester project furnaces heat-transfer model; Dareen Dardor, EPFL PHD; Daniel Florez Orrego, EPFL senior scientist; Manuele Margni, Professor HES-SO, life cycle assessment; Nour Boulos, EPFL, semester project coil cooling
The Novelis Sierre site, the broader Valais region, and Switzerland itself are an ideal fit for the planned initiatives due to the availability of renewable energy and strong research institutions, as well as a firm commitment to sustainability. The Novelis Sierre plant employs more than 500 people and features a world-leading Research & Innovation Center specialized in the development of sustainable, low-carbon and innovative automotive sheet alloys, surface treatment, and joining technologies.
In its first year of operations, three decarbonization projects were rewarded with funds by the Swiss government. One project is dedicated to optimize the operation of furnaces, thus reducing the fuel consumption heating. It serves to define the ideal temperature profiles inside the furnaces. The second one investigates the biomass availability, the supply chain logistics and the optimal use of this renewable resource to decarbonize the aluminium remelting process. The third one aims to facilitate the introduction of a district heating within the region.
With the foundation of the Net Zero Lab Valais, a systemic study has been launched aiming at increasing the inherent efficiency of the process units and reusing waste heat of the plant´s operations as well as increasing the use of available renewable energy resources in the region. Different key performance indicators, such as energy efficiency, CO2 emissions, costs, and technology readiness levels, are used to evaluate the suitability of various technologies. These are modelized in a software tool to simulate scenarios in line with essential factors to consider.
“The solutions we are working on consider our plant´s operations as a balanced energy system. Metal comes in and leaves the plant at the same ambient temperature. All energy transformed in-between should be captured and reused.“
photo copyright: Olivier Maire