Corus will test a new iron-making technology, called "Hisarna," in a pilot plant project at its IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands. According to Corus, the technology has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions in blast furnace steelmaking by more than 50%.
The €20 million project is one of the initiatives being conducted under the auspices of ULCOS (Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking), a consortium of European steelmakers that has developed a program to reduce the steel industry's carbon footprint.
The Dutch Cabinet of Ministers approved on November 27 a €5 million contribution to the project. The rest of the investment will come from European Commission research funds and from ULCOS consortium partners.
The 60,000 tonnes per annum Hisarna pilot plant will harness a new process that makes possible the production of liquid iron from virgin raw materials in a single step, eliminating two steps in blast furnace iron making. According to Corus, Hisarna could result in a 20% improvement in steel industry energy efficiency. The pilot plant is expected to be commissioned at the end of 2010, followed by an intensive test program to be supported by all ULCOS partners.
Two technologies have been combined to develop Hisarna. The melting of fine ores in a cyclone has been developed by Corus in IJmuiden. This cyclone will be directly linked to the final process step where the hot metal is formed, which is the HIsmelt process.