Woodchips may reduce carbon dioxide emissions from blast furnace

In a newly-started research project, the use of biocoal is being tested in blast furnace-based manufacturing of steel. This is a new method which may reduce fossil CO2 emissions by up to 30%. The project is being run by Swerea MEFOS which, together with SSAB in Oxelösund, will develop methods and carry out testing on a full industrial scale.

The steel industry is facing major challenges in its repositioning to a more sustainable society. SSAB’s blast furnaces are among the most carbon dioxide efficient in the world while, at the same time, the company accounts for approximately 10% of Sweden’s emissions of carbon dioxide. The possibilities are already being studied in Oxelösund for fossil-free manufacturing by 2026.

“In our work in reducing carbon dioxide emissions, we work both in the short term as well as the long-term. The biocoal project is an excellent initiative to further reduce levels using today’s blast furnace technology. If the tests are successful, some of the current coal and coke can be replaced by biocoal without any major investments, resulting in a greater degree of fossil-free manufacturing”, explains Era Kapilashrami, head of metallurgy at Oxelösund.

The purpose of the project is to showcase the possibilities for dealing with pre-treated biomass containing renewable energy, for example residual products from forestry operations. Replacing parts of today’s black coal with biocoal can lead to reduced fossil CO2 emissions. There have been promising results in small blast furnaces injected with biocoal, but this has never been tested on a full industrial scale.

The project will commence in September 2017 and the preparation and implementation of operational testing is planned for 2018 – 2019. SSAB in Oxelösund is financing the project in the amount of SEK 13 million.

In 2016, SSAB took the initiative for a fossil-free steel industry (HYBRIT) together with LKAB and Vattenfall. By using hydrogen instead of coke and coal in the steel making, the ambition is to create a process that emits water – instead of carbon dioxide. The research will go on until 2035. If successful, HYBRIT, would mean a major contribution to a fossil-free Sweden.

For additional information, please contact:
Sari Heikkinen, Communication manager at SSAB in Oxelösund, sari.heikkinen@ssab.com,
tel: +46 70 594 6152. Images will be found in SSAB's image bank at http://imagebank.ssab.com/

Karin Edfast, Communication manager at Swerea MEFOS, karin.edfast@swerea.se,
tel +46 (0)920-20 19 67

SSAB is a Nordic and US-based steel company. SSAB offers value added products and services developed in close cooperation with its customers to create a stronger, lighter and more sustainable world. SSAB has employees in over 50 countries. SSAB has production facilities in Sweden, Finland and the US. SSAB is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and has a secondary listing on Nasdaq Helsinki. www.ssab.com.
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SSAB is a Nordic and US-based steel company. SSAB offers value added products and servicesdeveloped in close cooperation with its customers to create a stronger, lighter and more sustainableworld. SSAB has employees in over 50 countries. SSAB has production facilities in Sweden, Finlandand the US. SSAB is listed on the Nasdaq OMX Nordic Exchange in Stockholm and has asecondary listing on the Nasdaq OMX in Helsinki. www.ssab.com

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