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ENERGIX-Stort program energi

Optimising the biocarbon value chain for sustainable metallurgical industry

Alternative title: Optimalisering av biokarbon verdikjeden for bærekraftig metallurgisk industri

Awarded: NOK 19.4 mill.

Project Number:

294679

Project Period:

2019 - 2023

Funding received from:

Partner countries:

The ENERGIX program plan clearly states the importance of sustainability and sustainable value chains, including biomass based, contributing to reduced CO2 emissions and a carbon neutral society in 2050. For biomass, there is an expectation of total biomass feedstock utilisation. The metallurgical industry in Norway seeks to substitute large amounts of biocarbon for fossil reductants in their processes. The Norwegian Process Industry Roadmap - Combining growth and zero emissions by 2050, and Industrimeldingen lay the foundation for an accelerated utilization of Norwegian biomass resources that would reduce the CO2 footprint of the metallurgical industry. The former document targets a 43% reduction of CO2 by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. To enable this transformation, the whole biocarbon (BC) value chain for the metallurgical industry must be optimized to remove economic constraints, satisfy reductant quality demands, and develop predictable (amount, quality and price), long-term biomass resource demand. This project responds to the national strategies and the goals of the metallurgical industry by analyzing and optimizing the BC value chain to produce suitable and affordable reductants in a sustainable manner. Producing BC, a renewable material from biomass resources, will have a twofold effect: (1) reduce CO2 emissions by substituting for fossil reductants and (2) increase forest resource utilisation by creating higher value material and/or energy products. Due to the BC quality demanded by the metallurgical processes, woody biomass, especially stem wood, is the most suitable candidate for reductant feedstock. The overall objective of this project is to optimise the biocarbon value chain for the metallurgical industry. I 2019 the focus has been on start-up of the project, studies connected to the resource base in Norway for biocarbon production, planning and execution of carbonisation experiments, characterisation of biocarbon, start-up of the postdoc work and dissemination from the project. In 2020 the focus on studies connected to the resource base in Norway for biocarbon production has continued, carbonization experiments are continuing in different experimental setups and the biocarbons and by-products are characterized. The characterization includes biocarbon CO2 reactivity testing, and a summer job student has been working at SINTEF Energy Research connected to this topic and kinetics. Characterization methods and critical biocarbon characteristics with respect to the specific biocarbon end-uses have been evaluated and there is a focus on how to improve biocarbon characteristics by tuning biocarbon production processes and by biocarbon upgrading. The latter is also investigated by the BioCarbUp postdoc candidate. The BioCarbUp PhD student has now started, focusing on modelling related to the biocarbon production process. In 2021 possibilities for improvements connected to harvesting and quality of forest biomass has been in focus. Carbonisation experiments on different biomass materials under different conditions, characterisation of the carbonised materials and the by-products, and upgrading of the biocarbon and the tar by-product have been carried out. Further, studies connected to use of the produced biocarbon in metallurgical processes and in addition upgrading of the tar by-product to binder for anode baking have been carried out. The PostDoc candidate has completed her study and has shown that biocarbon can effectively be upgraded by deposition of carbon from methane on the surfaces of the porous biocarbon. The PhD candidate continues his modelling study related to the biocarbon production.

The ENERGIX program plan clearly states the importance of sustainability and sustainable value chains, including biomass based, contributing to reduced CO2 emissions and a carbon neutral society in 2050. For biomass, there is an expectation of total biomass feedstock utilisation. The metallurgical industry in Norway seeks to substitute large amounts of biocarbon for fossil reductants in their processes. The Norwegian Process Industry Roadmap - Combining growth and zero emissions by 2050, and Industrimeldingen lay the foundation for an accelerated utilization of Norwegian biomass resources that would reduce the CO2 footprint of the metallurgical industry. The former document targets a 43% reduction of CO2 by 2030 compared to 2005 levels. To enable this transformation, the whole biocarbon (BC) value chain for the metallurgical industry must be optimized to remove economic constraints, satisfy reductant quality demands, and develop predictable (amount, quality and price), long-term biomass resource demand. This project responds to the national strategies and the goals of the metallurgical industry by analyzing and optimizing the BC value chain to produce suitable and affordable reductants in a sustainable manner. Producing BC, a renewable material from biomass resources, will have a twofold effect: (1) reduce CO2 emissions by substituting for fossil reductants and (2) increase forest resource utilisation by creating higher value material and/or energy products. Due to the BC quality demanded by the metallurgical processes, woody biomass, especially stem wood, is the most suitable candidate for reductant feedstock. The overall objective of this project is to optimise the biocarbon value chain for the metallurgical industry.

Publications from Cristin

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Funding scheme:

ENERGIX-Stort program energi