BioMet is a cooperation between the Norwegian producers of silicon and ferroalloys, Eramet, Elkem, Wacker and Finnfjord, and SINTEF and NTNU as research partners. The producers are all actively working to meet the global climate challenges by reducing their CO2 emissions. All the companies have ambitious goals. The goals and how to reach them are, for the Norwegian process industry, described in the Process21 report and for the individual companies in their yearly report or sustainability report. Substituting fossil carbon with biocarbon is probably the method that needs shortest time to be implemented in the metal production industry. The possibility of using biocarbon in metal production has been investigated through several decades. BioMet will contribute to a faster replacement of fossil carbon by facilitating transfer of research results to industrial implementation.
BioMet builds upon earlier investigations showing differences in the properties of biocarbon and fossil carbon, and how these differences may affect the metal production processes. To increase the use of biocarbon, we need to either use biocarbon tailormade to current processes or adapt the current processes to biocarbon. BioMet will investigate both these alternatives. Existing models for life cycle assessment (LCA) and calculation of CO2 emissions will be further developed. They will be used to investigate the effect on CO2 emission from metal production for selected cases with different biocarbon properties or different adaption to biocarbon use. Availability and production of biocarbon and handling of biocarbon on its way to the furnace will be investigated in KSP BioCarbUpGrade that KSP BioMet will cooperate closely with.
BioMet will, by including one PhD candidate, one PostDoc and master students, contribute to recruitment to industry and academia. By having a young project manager with a mentor, BioMet contributes to recruitment of new project managers in energy research.
Reduction of CO2 emissions from human activity is the main measure to reduce global warming and meet the climate goals. BioMet will contribute to this by develop competence needed to substitute fossil carbon with biocarbon in production of silicon, ferrosilicon and Mn-alloys. SINTEF is the project manager with NTNU as the second research partner. The industrial Si and FeSi producers Elkem, Wacker and Finnfjord and Mn-alloy producer Eramet are industrial partners.
The main approach is to develop tools for transfer of research results regarding biocarbon utilisation to industrial implementation. Models for simulating energy consumption and CO2 emission in different scenarios will be developed and shared with the metal producers as basis for their development of operational strategies that avoid increased energy consumption and CO2 emission when biocarbon is used as reductant. The evaluation includes Life-Cycle-Assessment (LCA).
Detailed fundamental knowledge about reactions with carbon materials in the actual processes and their interaction will be generated by small scale experiments in advanced high temperature furnaces. The results will be combined with knowledge about conditions in industrial furnaces gained from excavation of industrial furnaces by a scientific method. This knowledge will be used as input to the simulation models. The goal is to generate knowledge about effects of different biocarbon properties. BioMet will work in close cooperation with both metallurgical industry and national and international scientific community. The scientific results as well as the developed methodology is expected to be of value for other research within metal production. The project includes 1 PhD and 1PD.
To increase recruitment and train young researchers in energy projects, project manager for BioMet will be a young researcher, Vincent Canaguier, mentored by an experienced project manager, Eli Ringdalen. Financing from the partners will be coordinated through FFF.