Sunday, June 1, 2014

First day in Norway

On our first full day in Norway we hit the ground running with visits to an incineration plant and a silicon refinery. We ended the day with a group barbeque!
We had a very interesting first day in Grimstad, a small town on the southern coast of Norway and the location of the University of Agder, where we are staying in the dorms.

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We began our day by driving an hour to the west to an incineration plant named Returkraft. The plant's mission is to minimize the impact on the environment caused by waste.

Its location is designed to be able to handle all the municipal and most of the industrial waste from the region, which is an estimated 130 tons per year!

After the incineration plant visit, it was just a short drive to Elkem, which is one of the world's leading producers of environment friendly materials.

When we visited the plant, we learned about its process for producing solar grade silicon. When the plant opened in 2009, they started changing quartz into pure silicon and are now the most significant carbon dioxide reduction project in Norway.

They have a unique process that allows them to create solar grade silicon using one-third the energy and emitting one-fourth of the green house gases as their competitors.

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When we were done for the day we went back to the university and enjoyed a group barbeque together!

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