Byproducts key to charcoal fuel viability

By February 7th, 2011

A new pyrolysis technology could expand charcoal production in Australia tenfold, and generate a range of valuable byproducts, according to the February edition of CSIRO's Process magazine.

The new technology aims to help the iron and steel industry and other metal extraction industries compete in a carbon-constrained economy.

“The easiest way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is to replace the fossil carbon with renewable carbon that can be readily absorbed into metal extraction industries, using the same technologies and equipment they have now,” says Dr Alex Deev, a principle research scientist with CSIRO.

The new process CSIRO is developing may be capable of producing charcoal volumes equivalent to 30 per cent or more of the annual industry coke consumption and will also capture valuable byproducts.

BlueScope Steel and OneSteel are industry partners on the project.

Other stories in this issue of Process include:

  • New injection technique reduces drag: a new technique has been developed that could reduce drag in slurry pipelines in the order of 50 to 90 per cent – the technology has the potential to not only reduce water and energy use, but also reduce capital costs. 
  • Nano approach adds value: using a new nanocoating technique it may be possible to create highly-valued, highly functional materials from mining and industrial residue, as well as from salvaged electronic waste, which could potentially lead to new industrial activity.
  • Sustainable prosperity from Australia’s mineral industries: strategic foresight exercises undertaken by a diverse range of stakeholders, both nationally and internationally, shows environmental efficiencies can be achieved from greater coordination along the minerals value chain.

These and other stories can be found in the February issue of Process, which was released today.

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