India’s Tata Steel said it had leapt to forefront of lower-carbon steel innovation by acquiring the full intellectual property rights in a revolutionary technology from Rio Tinto.
The company said in a statement that it had been testing the groundbreaking technology called HIsarna at its IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands.
“HIsarna has the potential to reduce energy use and carbon emissions by at least 20%*, as well as reducing steelmaking costs through lower-priced raw materials, up to half of which could be recycled scrap steel,” the statement said.
According to Tata Steel, HIsarna is a completely new technology in the steelmaking process, which combines Tata Steel’s cyclone converter furnace with Rio Tinto’s smelter. Now, Tata Steel has acquired the Rio Tinto’s smelter technology and intellectual property rights required to operate the HIsarna process.
“Tata Steel has a legacy of pioneering initiatives in several areas of management and process technology. Acquisition of full intellectual property rights for Hlsarna, is a significant step towards establishing our pioneering credentials in the steel manufacturing space and ensuring long term sustainability of the business, Managing Director T.V. Narendran said.
HIsarna consists of a reactor into which iron ore is inserted at the top. The ore is liquefied in a high-temperature cyclone and drips to the bottom of the reactor. When powdered coal is injected into the reactor, it combines with the molten ore to produce pure liquid iron and CO2.
The technology removes a number of pre-processing steps, resulting in significant efficiency gains and 20% reductions in energy use and CO2 emissions. The HIsarna installation produces almost pure CO2, making the gas ideally suited for capture and either storage or use, which could lead to total CO2 savings of 80% from the steel production process. It could also lead to substantial reductions in emissions of fine particles and the reduction of sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, the statement said.