Using ores obtained from mines in Australia's Pilbara region, Rio Tinto, an Australian mining company, has successfully shown the efficiency of their low-carbon iron-making process, known as BioIron.
In a small-scale pilot plant in Germany for the past 18 months, the demonstration has been conducted.
The BioIron process was thoroughly tested by a project team from Rio Tinto, the sustainable technology company Metso Outotec, and the Microwave Process Engineering Group at the University of Nottingham.
Rio Tinto now intends to build a larger-scale pilot plant to assist in decarbonizing the steel value chain when the method has been demonstrated.
As an alternative to metallurgical coal, raw biomass is used in BioIron as a reductant and a source of microwave energy. In the process of producing steel, this will transform iron ore into metallic iron.
Rio Tinto expects BioIron to provide almost carbon-neutral steel production. Additionally, when connected to carbon capture and storage, it is anticipated to produce net negative emissions.
A thorough and impartial technical study was done by international engineering, project management, and professional services firm Hatch, which confirmed the BioIron process' potential.
At a specifically created continuous pilot plant with a capacity of one ton per hour, Rio Tinto aims to test the BioIron process on a wider scale.
The mining company is now looking for potential sites to build the pilot plant, whose design is still being worked on.
The materials and information on this article have been prepared or assembled by Viet Nam Steel and are intended for informational purposes only