Firm aims to debut carbonite as greener fuel


Even in the USA, where greenhouse gas regulation is less strict than in Europe, there are commercial advantages to developing greener products.

SBB 29 March A US company known as Carbonite Corp will construct a $20m plant this year that will produce carbonite and coke near Norton, Virginia, Steel Business Briefing understands.

According to process pioneer Richard Wolfe, carbonite – an interim step between coal and coke – is cleaner to produce.

“It’s certainly going to be more environmentally acceptable to build this plant,” Wolfe said. “And the products will be more environmentally clean.”

From a regulatory standpoint, the plant would be classified as a coal conversion plant, rather than a coke oven battery, and therefore easier to permit, Wolfe said.

The plant’s capacity will be 50,000 short tons annually, Wolfe told SBB, with some of its products for use in foundry applications and others in steelmaking.

According to US government data and the American Coke and Coal Chemicals Institute, 16.1m s.t of coke were produced domestically last year, the vast majority of which was used for steelmaking. Just over 1.1m s.t of coke were imported in 2010.

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