New iron reduction technology targets low emissions steel

The Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA) has announced $947,035 in funding to Calix Ltd to evaluate a low-emissions method for reducing iron.

A $1.96 million study will scope the design for a demonstration scale Hydrogen Direct Reduced Iron (HDRI) production plant using Calix’s Zero Emissions Steel Technology (ZESTY).

The proposed plant would produce 30,000 tonnes per year of HDRI as a feedstock for steel production.

Most global steel production uses blast-furnace technology that requires burning coal and coke throughout the production process.

HDRI can power electric arc furnaces. When powered by solar or other renewables, electric arc furnaces reduce emissions from this stage of the process to zero.

HDRI can use renewable hydrogen to eliminate the need for natural gas and cut emissions from iron reduction.

As the world’s largest producer of iron ore, Australia is uniquely positioned to reduce emissions from the steel production chain.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller said that ZESTY is a prime example of Australian innovation helping tackle global challenges.

‘Decarbonising heavy industries like steel is a big challenge, and a big opportunity, and ARENA is looking to support companies like Calix that are developing potential solutions,’ Mr Miller said.

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