Posts Tagged ‘IJmuiden’

New ‘green’ ironmaking passes first test, funding approved

Current steelmaking technologies only have limited scope for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. For the industry to achieve significant cuts in emissions, of 50% or more, breakthrough technologies will be needed. Although these are still several years away from commercial operation, a number of research projects are achieving results in their test phases. In particular part private, part state-funded projects in Japan, Korea and the EU are developing new technologies.

SBB 1 July Tata Steel’s 60,000 t/y HIsarna ironmaking pilot plant in IJmuiden has successfully completed its first test campaign, the company tells Steel Business Briefing. It is now preparing for a second round of tests in October or November.

The project has also been approved for further funding from the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS), which distributes around €55m ($80m) per year to industrial research projects in the sector. The project has been selected for funding by the RFCS and representatives of European member states, and received final confirmation from the European Commission, SBB understands from a source close to the RFCS.

The first round of tests was a success and only minor alterations are needed before the second round, Tata says. The new tests aim to achieve stable, longer operating periods.

Because the project is part of the Ultra-low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) programme, further tests can only be conducted once representatives of other ULCOS members and officials are available to be present, in accordance with ULCOS protocol, SBB understands.

ULCOS is a consortium of steelmakers and others that aims to develop new technologies which can cut emissions from steelmaking by at least 50%.

The technology is jointly owned by Tata steel and Rio Tinto and can produce hot metal directly from iron ore fines and low-volatile coal, eliminating the need for coking and sintering. This could result in a cut of 20% in emissions than that produced by a standard blast furnace; emissions could be reduced a further 60% by using carbon capture and storage.


Tata Steel and Rio sign agreement over Hisarna smelting

Breathrough low CO2 stelmaking technologies will be essential if the industry is to significantly lower its emissions. But these technologies could also be commercial ventures. Some, such as HIsarna, could also reduce initial investments, land use and raw materials costs. Tata Steel and Rio Tinto hope that they can market the technology if trials are successful.

SBB 25 April Tata Steel and Rio Tinto have signed a licensing agreement over Hisarna, the direct iron smelting process being trialled at IJmuiden in the Netherlands. This will decide how the companies will benefit from selling the technology, Steel Business Briefing understands.

In addition to reducing carbon dioxide emissions, the technology could potentially reduce costs. Hisarna, developed as part of the European Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) programme, can produce hot metal from iron ore fines using thermal coal or charcoal. It therefore eliminates the need for coking and sintering and has lower raw material costs.

Under the agreement both parties will collaborate and share their knowledge over the two technologies combined in the process: cyclone pre-reduction and bath smelting. Rio Tinto recently abandoned its 800,000 t/y HIsmelt plant in Australia, which never reached full capacity because of technical difficulties, SBB notes.

The current HIsarna pilot smelter can produce 60,000 tonnes/year, though ULCOS intends to scale this up in the longer-term, SBB notes.

In future Hisarna could reduce carbon dioxide emissions by more than 50% when combined with carbon capture and storage, according to a press release issued by Tata Steel.

Tata commissions ‘green ironmaking’ pilot plant

New steelmaking technologies currently under development will take many years before they are commercially available. However, in the long term new they will be essential for a low carbon society.

SBB 13 April Tata Steel has commissioned the 60,000 t/y HIsarna iron reduction pilot plant at its IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands, Steel Business Briefing learns during a visit to the site. The new technology could reduce both carbon dioxide emissions and steelmaking costs.

The plant, developed under the European Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) programme, will produce hot metal directly from iron ore fines and ground low-volatile coal, eliminating the need for coking and sintering. This would result in a 20% reduction in CO2 emissions. It also means that thermal coal can be used instead of expensive coking coal and the iron ore requires little processing, reducing costs for the steelmaker.

The plant could also use charcoal instead of coal. The use of charcoal would not be limited, as it is in the blast furnace, because it does not need to support a heavy slag layer, SBB is told.

Tata now hopes to complete the first round of tests in the coming months. There will be many technical challenges, officials suggest. Part of HIsarna uses Rio Tinto’s HIsmelt iron ore reduction technology. However, Rio’s 800,000 t/y HIsmelt plant in Australia never reached full capacity and also had technical problems with refractories, SBB notes. It is now closed.

Tata hopes to run a demonstration-scale plant in 2014-2018, although its location has not yet been chosen. At this stage an 80% reduction in emissions would then be achievable using carbon capture and storage, ULCOS says.