Tag Archives: steel

Metso Outotec launches carbon-neutral and autonomous pelletising concept

Metso Outotec is launching NextGen Pelletizing™, a visionary concept for the next generation of pelletising plants that, it says, strive to be carbon-neutral and autonomous.

This concept is a part of the company’s Planet Positive offering focused on environmentally efficient technologies.

Attaul Ahmad, Vice President, Ferrous and Heat Transfer business at Metso Outotec, said: “NextGen Pelletizing is yet further proof of our strong commitment to building innovative pelletising solutions that are sustainable and contribute to climate targets. It offers significant benefits and will help the industry decarbonise, providing an 80-90% reduction in CO2 emissions.”

NextGen Pelletizing offers unmatched benefits, according to the company, including further energy reductions of 5-10%, production and availability increases of 10-15%, and improved product homogeneity and quality to support the transition of the steel industry.

The concept considers all relevant factors for energy efficiency, plant production and pellet quality to enable a holistic optimisation of the performance of the pelletising process, the company says. It follows a modular approach to minimise the sources of CO2 from the three carbon-intensive steps involved in pelletising and introduces further improved gas schemes, advanced combustion and burner technology (low NOx, hydrogen, and alternative fuels) as well as increased plant stability and performance through advanced process control.

Matthias Gabriel, Director, Ferrous technologies at Metso Outotec, added: “Pelletising is and will remain crucial in the future for the industry’s transition to green, carbon-neutral steel production. I am really excited about NextGen Pelletizing, which I firmly believe will completely revolutionise the way pelletising plants are built or operated in the future.

“The best part about NextGen Pelletizing is that it can be implemented fully or in parts, depending on the customer needs. And it can be easily upgraded in existing plants. Our experts will continue to evolve this vision with improved and innovative processes and tools.”

As the original inventor of the pelletising process, Metso Outotec’s NextGen Pelletizing also offers an exhaustive suite of digital solutions that help improve process performance, production capacity, and product quality as well as reduce energy consumption, environmental impact, and operation and maintenance costs, Metso Outotec says. These solutions include VisioPellet™ , Ferroflame LowNox burner, the Pallet Car Condition Monitoring System, and the Training Simulator, among others.

Metso Outotec has an installed worldwide base of over 120 pelletising plants.

Vale and Nippon Steel to evaluate carbon-neutral ironmaking solutions

Vale and Japan’s Nippon Steel have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to pursue ironmaking solutions focused on a carbon-neutral steelmaking process, the iron ore miner says.

Vale and Nippon Steel intend to jointly study and explore (i) metallic usage solutions such as direct reduced iron (DRI) and pig iron produced by Tecnored technology; and (ii) usage of Vale’s green briquettes in the ironmaking process and other lower carbon footprint products such as pellets.

This initiative contributes to Vale’s commitment to reduce net Scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2035. Additionally, Vale seeks to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 33% by 2030 and achieve net zero by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement, leading the evolution process towards sustainable mining.

In April, Vale and the Government of the State of Pará held an event to mark the beginning of the construction works of the first commercial plant of Tecnored in Brazil. Tecnored’s technology allows the production of so-called ‘green pig iron’, by replacing metallurgical coal with biomass, thus reducing carbon emissions and contributing to the decarbonisation of the steel industry.

The unit will have an initial capacity to produce 250,000 t/y of green pig iron, with the possibility of reaching 500,000 t/y in the future. The start-up is scheduled for 2025 with an estimated investment of approximately BRL1.6 billion ($342 million).

Epiroc, SSAB to partner on fossil-free steel use in mining equipment

Epiroc says it is starting a partnership with steelmaker SSAB to secure fossil-free steel for use in the production of Epiroc’s mining equipment.

SSAB aims to deliver fossil-free steel to the market in commercial scale during 2026, and delivered the first steel made of hydrogen-reduced iron in 2021. It is working with iron ore producer LKAB and energy company Vattenfall as part of the HYBRIT initiative to develop a value chain for fossil-free iron and steel production, replacing coking coal traditionally needed for iron ore-based steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. This process virtually eliminates carbon dioxide-emissions in steel production, according to the HYBRIT partners.

Epiroc will initially use fossil-free steel for material for a prototype underground machine produced at its facility in Örebro, Sweden, and the plan is to increase the usage of fossil-free steel over time.

“Sustainability is integrated in everything we do, and we are committed to halving our CO2e emissions by 2030,” Helena Hedblom, Epiroc’s President and CEO, says. “This exciting partnership with SSAB will support us and our customers on the journey to reach our very ambitious climate goals. It is clear that our innovation agenda goes hand-in-hand with our customers’ sustainability agenda.”

Martin Lindqvist, SSAB’s President and CEO, said: “We are very happy to welcome Epiroc in our partner group and look forward to the fossil-free steel collaboration.It’s a natural next step in our joint efforts to mitigate climate change. Demand for fossil-free steel is increasing, which is one of the reasons for SSAB to bring forward its green transition with the ambition to largely eliminate carbon dioxide emissions around 2030.”

In the shift to a low-carbon economy, development of new technologies like this is crucial for making the transition possible, Epiroc says. The partnership with SSAB fits well with Epiroc’s ambitious sustainability goals for 2030, including halving its CO2e emissions.

In 2021, Epiroc received validation from the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) for its targets to reduce emissions in own operations as well as when customers use the sold products. The SBTi validated Epiroc’s climate targets as being in line with keeping global warming at a maximum 1.5°C, consistent with the latest climate science and the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement. In addition, Epiroc’s 2030 sustainability goals include halving its CO2e emissions in transport as well as from relevant suppliers, having 90% renewable energy in own operations, and offering a full range of emissions-free products.

Last year, Volvo Group revealed what it said was the world’s first vehicle made of fossil-free steel from SSAB, plus announced that more vehicles will follow in 2022 in what will be a series of concept vehicles and components using the material.

Metso Outotec helps steel sector decarbonise with next gen Circored process

Metso Outotec says it is introducing the next generation of its CircoredTM process for the direct reduction of iron ore fines using hydrogen as a reducing agent instead of CO produced from fossil fuels.

This new process will allow the iron and steel industry to efficiently tackle the decarbonisation challenge, according to the company.

The flexible Circored process, part of Metso Outotec’s Planet Positive portfolio, produces highly metalised DRI (direct reduced iron) or HBI (hot briquetted iron) that can directly be used as feed material in electric arc furnaces for carbon-free steelmaking.

Attaul Ahmad, Vice President, Ferrous and Heat Transfer at Metso Outotec, said: “We are very excited about the Circored process. It is an emissions- and cost-efficient alternative to traditional steelmaking routes. This innovative process eliminates the need for costly and energy intensive pelletising, and its functionality and performance have been proven in an industrial-scale demonstration plant.

“Now our team of experts has evolved the process further, and we will present the updated technology at the 2021 Dubai Steel & Raw Materials Hybrid Conference on December 8th. Additionally, during the first (March) quarter of 2022, we will be revealing further ground-breaking additions to Circored capabilities – the key word being low-grade ore – so please stay tuned for these exciting developments.”

The Circored process is based on the fluidised bed knowledge and experience developed and applied by Metso Outotec over decades in hundreds of plants for different applications. The process applies a two-stage reactor configuration with a circulating fluidised bed followed by a bubbling fluidised bed downstream. The typical plant capacity is 1.25 Mt/y per line. Two or more lines can be combined using joint facilities and utility areas. In standalone plants, the produced DRI is briquetted to HBI to enable further handling and safe transport.

If a Circored plant is integrated into an existing steelmaking facility, energy efficiency can be further increased by direct hot feeding of the DRI to an electric arc furnace, according to Metso Outotec.

As a general rule, the Circored process can handle feeds with a particle size of up to 2 mm. However, depending on the decrepitation behaviour, particle sizes of up to 6 mm are possible. For processing ultrafine (< 50 µm) ores or process reverts like scrubber dust, Metso Outotec has patented a microgranulation process.

Vale and Jiangsu Shagang target low-carbon steel production route

Vale says it has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Jiangsu Shagang Group Co Ltd in which both agree to pursue opportunities to develop steelmaking solutions focused on reducing CO2 emissions.

Vale and Jiangsu Shagang intend to develop economic feasibility studies of (i) usage of products with a lower carbon footprint in ironmaking process, as high-grade iron ore products; and (ii) cooperation on “Tecnored” plants, Vale said.

This initiative contributes to achieving Vale’s commitment to reduce net Scope 3 emissions by 15% by 2035, it said.

Additionally, Vale seeks to reduce its absolute Scope 1 and 2 emissions by 33% by 2030 and achieve neutrality by 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement.

Tecnored is a 100% Vale subsidiary focused on developing a low carbon pig iron process through the use of energy sources, such as biomass and syn-gas, that emit less CO2 than the coal and coke the tradition iron-making processes use. Using biomass, the path to economic carbon neutrality may be achieved in the medium term.

Jiangsu Shagang is a Chinese steel producer and service supplier. It has five production sites, which are mainly located in Jiangsu, Liaoning and Henan Provinces.

 

Anglo American and Salzgitter to explore iron ore’s role in low-carbon steelmaking

Anglo American has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Salzgitter Flachstahl to collaborate on the decarbonisation of the steelmaking industry by exploring ways to reduce carbon emissions.

Salzgitter Flachstahl manufactures a range of steel products optimised for their particular application and is the largest steel subsidiary in the Salzgitter Group, Anglo explained.

The two companies intend to conduct research into feed materials, including iron ore pellets and lump iron ores, suitable for use in direct reduction (DR) steelmaking based on natural gas and hydrogen, a significantly less carbon intensive production method than the conventionally used blast furnace process. The collaboration may also explore developing broader hydrogen technologies.

Peter Whitcutt, CEO of Anglo American’s Marketing business, said: “We have set ambitious targets to help address climate change by reducing our greenhouse gas emissions, including achieving carbon neutrality across Anglo American’s operations by 2040.

“While steel is a critical building block of our modern lives, and itself a critically needed material for the energy transition, the steel industry is a significant producer of carbon dioxide. That’s why we are committed to collaborating with industry-leading players like Salzgitter Flachstahl to develop strategies that capitalise on the premium quality properties of our products to help drive emissions reduction across the entire steelmaking sector.”

The MoU reinforces Anglo American’s existing commitments to the steelmaking industry, ensuring it continues to provide high-quality iron ore products that help drive efficiency and minimise emissions while new technologies are developed to achieve lower carbon steelmaking, the company said.

It also builds on the long-standing relationship between the two companies and provides a platform to explore opportunities for emissions abatement in the context of the sustainable energy transition.

Salzgitter, as part of the European steel industry, has been developing new steelmaking technologies to reduce its carbon footprint under its SALCOS® (Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking) project. The project is targeting a switch from the use of blast furnace production based on coal to wholly DR steelmaking.

Ulrich Grethe, Chairman of the Management Board of Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH and member of the Group Management Board of Salzgitter AG, said: “With this project we continue to progress important milestones on the way to low CO2 steel production. In driving our SALCOS technology concept forward, we aim to decarbonise steel production as efficiently and quickly as possible. We are delighted to be partnering with Anglo American, our long-standing major supplier of high-grade ores, for joint reflection and potential projects.”

DR steelmaking depends on high-quality iron ore feedstock, or further beneficiated feedstock from the same locations.

Australian government backs mining and metal sector decarbonising initiative

A new Cooperative Research Centre focused on integrating green energy sources such as hydrogen, ammonia and solar into high-heat and high-emission manufacturing processes for products like steel, aluminium and cement has won Australia government backing.

The Heavy Industry Low-carbon Transition Cooperative Research Centre (HILT CRC), to be led by the University of Adelaide, has been provided with A$39 million ($29 million) of funding through the CRC Grants program. It is also backed by an additional A$175.7 million in funding and in-kind support from research and industry partners such as Alcoa, Rio Tinto Aluminium, South32, Roy Hill, Fortescue Metals Group, the Australian National University and the CSIRO.

South Australia Minister for Industry, Science and Technology, Christian Porter, said the CRC would help to secure the future of heavy industries right across the country by helping them to lower costs and establish a reputation as exporters of high-quality, low-carbon, value-added products.

“In order to remain internationally competitive, it is crucial that our heavy industries begin the transition to lower cost and cleaner energy technology to secure the long-term future of their operations,” Minister Porter said. “By connecting those industries with our best and brightest minds from within our major research institutions – coupled with the significant funding that’s now available to fast-track this work – we expect real-world solutions can be delivered within the 10-year life of the CRC.”

Dr David Cochrane, who is Technology Lead at core CRC partner South32 and also an industry leader of the HILT CRC, said: “The HILT CRC will play an important role in transitioning to a low-carbon future by creating a framework for industry to collaborate, sharing knowledge and experience while lowering the risk of trialling technology.

“For South32, we have recently set medium-term targets to halve our operational emissions by 2035 as we transition to net zero by 2050 and initiatives like the HILT CRC are part of our plan to achieve these targets.”

Susan Jeanes, who is Chair-elect of the HILT CRC, said: “Decarbonising Australia’s heavy industry will position it to be competitive in the rapidly developing, global low carbon markets for green iron and aluminium products that have higher value than our current exports. These new markets are being driven by our trading partners in countries like China, Japan and Europe, which are introducing a range of financial measures to meet their carbon targets, such as EU’s Carbon Border Tax.

“Our mineral resources geographically co-exist around the continent with our first-class renewable energy resources making decarbonising more competitive here than in other parts of the world.”

Suncor backs Svante and its carbon dioxide capture technology

Suncor has backed the decarbonisation and hydrogen production ambitions of carbon capture technology company Svante, joining a number of firms in its latest equity raising.

Svante is looking to accelerate the commercialisation of its novel second generation CO2 capture technology, aiming to decarbonise industrial emissions and hydrogen production in North America. Its technology, Svante claims, captures carbon dioxide from flue gas, concentrates it, then releases it for safe storage or industrial use.

Combined, Suncor and a number of family office investors have invested $25 million of equity financing, bringing the total proceeds raised under Svante’s Series D financing to $100 million, completing what Suncor says is the largest single private investment into point source carbon capture technology globally to date.

Svante has now attracted more than $175 million in total funding since it was founded in 2007 to develop and commercialise its breakthrough solid sorbent technology at half the capital cost of traditional engineered solutions.

Claude Letourneau, President & CEO of Svante Inc, said: “Svante has generated a pipeline of potential new project opportunities capturing over 40 Mt of CO2/y before 2030 from natural gas industrial boilers, cement and lime, and blue hydrogen industrial facilities, mainly in North America and spurred by both US and Canada federal CO2 tax credits and prices on CO2 emissions.”

According to Mark Little, President & CEO of Suncor, “carbon capture is a strategic technology area for Suncor to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in our base business and produce blue hydrogen as an energy product. An investment in Svante is expected to support the acceleration of commercial-scale deployment of a technology that has the potential to dramatically reduce the cost associated with carbon capture. We are excited to become both an investor in and a collaborative partner with the company.”

Letourneau added on Suncor’s investment: “We are pleased to partner with a leading Canadian player in the energy industry, alongside existing investor Cenovus, and to benefit not only from their financial support but also their commitment to deliver low-carbon fuels and blue hydrogen to transform the energy system.”

Svante says its approach is tailored specifically to the challenges of separating CO₂ from nitrogen contained in diluted flue gas generated by industrial plants such as cement, steel, aluminium, fertiliser and hydrogen, which is typically emitted in large volumes, at low pressures, and dilute concentrations.

It uses tailor-made nano-materials (solid adsorbents) with very high storage capacity for carbon dioxide. It has engineered these adsorbents to catch and release CO₂ in less than 60 seconds, compared with hours for other technologies.

The company’s carbon capture technology consists of a patented architecture of structured adsorbent laminate (spaced sheets), proprietary process cycle design, and a rotary mechanical contactor to capture, release and regenerate the adsorbent in a single unit.

In January, Lafarge Canada, Svante and Total announced they had reached a major milestone at its Project CO2MENT, a first-of-its kind partnership to capture industrial levels of CO2 emissions from a cement plant. The multi-phase project celebrated the completion of Phase II construction to have the technology to capture and filter the CO2 from the flue gas. This was a crucial component to achieving the next stage of capturing CO2 flow at the Lafarge Richmond cement facility in British Columbia, Canada.

BHP signs third low-carbon steelmaking partnership

BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China’s HBIS Group Co Ltd, one of the world’s largest steelmakers and a major customer of BHP’s iron ore, with the intention of investing up to $15 million over three years to jointly study and explore greenhouse gas emission reduction technologies and pathways.

Under the partnership, BHP and HBIS Group intend to collaborate on three priority areas: hydrogen-based direct reduction technology, the recycling and reuse of steelmaking slag, and the role of iron ore lump use to help reduce emissions from ironmaking and steelmaking.

The partnership aims to help both companies progress toward their climate change goals and support the steel industry’s role in helping to achieve China’s ambitions to be carbon neutral by 2060.

BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “We view decarbonisation of the steel industry as a complex puzzle that requires multiple technological solutions across the value chain over different time horizons. By forming this third low-carbon steelmaking partnership with HBIS Group, we are focusing on additional components, such as the role our products play in hydrogen-based steel production, that complement our other partnerships and support for endeavours in emissions reduction and capture from the traditional blast furnace route.”

In February, the mining major signed a similar MoU with leading Japanese steel producer, JFE Steel, while, in November 2020, BHP and China Baowu signed a pact that could see up to $35 million invested in tackling greenhouse gas emission reductions in the global steel industry.

BHP’s investment would be drawn from its $400 million Climate Investment Program, established in 2019 to support projects, partnerships, research and development to help reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.

BHP Chief Executive Officer, Mike Henry, said: “BHP has a long and trusted relationship with HBIS Group, and we are pleased to establish this strategic partnership to explore new ways to reduce emissions from steelmaking. Global decarbonisation will require collaboration and collective effort, and our work with partners such as HBIS Group will build on our own actions and help reduce emissions right through the value chain.”

Chairman of the World Steel Association, Party Secretary and Chairman of HBIS Group, Yu Yong, said: “The signing of the MoU fully demonstrates the two companies’ commitment to creating a green and low-carbon future across the value chain and a shared sense of responsibility to address climate change together, with a common vision to ‘contributing to a community of a shared future for mankind’. This partnership ushers in a new chapter for the two companies to deepen our strategic cooperation and to achieve collaborative development.”

BHP has also been active in other areas to reduce emissions, including awarding the world’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carrier tender and the first LNG supply agreement for those vessels, and renewable energy supply contracts for BHP’s Queensland coal mines and Nickel West operations.

BHP, JFE Steel to scrutinise Australian steel raw materials emissions in latest study

BHP has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with leading Japanese steel producer, JFE Steel, to jointly study technologies and pathways capable of making material reductions to greenhouse gas emissions from the integrated steelmaking process.

BHP is prepared to invest up to $15 million over the five-year partnership, which, it says, builds on the strong history of technical research and collaboration between the two companies.

The company’s investment will be funded under its $400 million Climate Investment Program, set up in 2019 to coordinate and prioritise projects, partnerships, R&D and venture investments to reduce Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions, invest in offsets and support development of technologies with the highest potential to impact change.

The JFE-BHP partnership will focus on the role of Australian raw materials to help to increase efficiency and reduce emissions from the blast furnace and direct reduced iron (DRI) steelmaking routes, it said. The partnership intends to study the properties of raw materials, with focus on specific areas such as iron ore pre-treatment, use of enhanced iron ore lump, high quality coke and DRI, required to decrease iron and steelmaking emissions and support a transition to a low carbon future. Throughout the collaboration, the two companies will also share knowledge on reducing carbon emissions across the steel value chain.

This JFE-BHP partnership follows other BHP investments to support the reduction of value chain emissions, including up to $35 million for the collaboration with China’s largest steelmaker, China Baowu, and awarding BHP’s first LNG-fuelled Newcastlemax bulk carriers contract, with the aim to reduce CO2-e emissions by 30% per voyage.

BHP’s Chief Commercial Officer, Vandita Pant, said: “This partnership with JFE demonstrates a joint commitment to make our activities more sustainable through collaboration and technological improvement. This work will support and help progress Japan’s carbon neutral ambitions by 2050.”

As outlined in BHP’s decarbonisation framework, the steel industry is expected to move through stages of optimisation and transition for the existing integrated steelmaking route before reaching an end state of low or no carbon intensity.

“Our investments are focused on actions that can create real change, and we continue to take positive steps on our climate agenda and in collaborating with others to help reduce emissions in line with the Paris Agreement goals,” Pant said.

JFE’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Yoshihisa Kitano, said: “We understand that raw material processing technology is extremely important in the research and development towards carbon neutrality. We have a long history working closely together with BHP collaborating to study raw material utilisation technology and mine development. It is very significant for us to be able to work together with BHP towards reduction of CO2 emissions, which is an extremely important agenda for the steel making sector.”