International news within the industry of mining and metal, Dec, 17 2018
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Algae will reduce emissions from the metal industry

Algae in a Dutch canal. Photo: Common, credit: Djedj
Algae in a Dutch canal. Photo: Common, credit: Djedj
Published by
Markku Björkman - 25 Feb 2018

Thr mining company Boliden and RISE have launched a joint research project to see if algae can reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the metal industry.

The project has recently started and will last for two years at Boliden Bergsöes lead smelter in Landskrona, where you will recycle lead from lead batteries. The project is funded by the Swedish Energy Agency.

"We need metals in a variety of technical applications such as batteries, electronics and construction materials for a growing population while reducing greenhouse gas emissions," says Oskar Schlyter, Project Manager - Central R & D at Boliden Smeltverk in a press release.

The background to the project is a waste heat and flue gas-based algae method developed by the algae group at RISE. The method has already been tested industrially at Nordic Paper Bäckhammar's paper mill where it purified flue gases and produced energy.

The cultivation method mimics the natural processes that are based on how fossil coal and, in particular, oil was formed once. In the industrial version, the flue gas is led from a chimney into pools of water and microalgae that quickly produce biomass from primarily the carbon dioxide contained in the flue gas. In dry conditions, the algae function as an energy carrier and can be used for melting processes in smelters. When combustion of the algae biomass, metals that were previously found in the flue gas return to the melt, recovering energy, cleaning water and flue gas while removing metal sticks.

"We expect the concept to take care of carbon dioxide emissions, generate energy for metal smelting and the release of metals found in the flue gas," says project manager Niklas Strömberg, a researcher at RISE.

- Although algae crops are effective for binding carbon dioxide, they require large areas. The project is therefore important so that we can evaluate the impact of these crops and the potential for reducing carbon dioxide emissions, eutrophication, and dispersion of heavy metals while evaluating whether algae biomass can be used as fuel for Swedish heavy industry, "says Niklas Strömberg.

Published in Swedish by
Simon Matthis - Feb 22, 2018

Translation: Markku Björkman