FerroSilva – fossil-free sponge iron from biogenic reduction gas

Photo: FerroSilva

The Swedish Energy Agency, has granted the project FerroSilva part-financing of a feasibility study within the framework of Industriklivet. The study will clarify the possibilities of solving the Swedish special steel industry's need for high-quality iron raw material through the production of sponge iron, DRI, with a reduction gas of biogenic origin. The work runs during the period April 2021 to September 2022 and the following industrial and environmental reasons for the decision are stated:

“The Swedish Energy Agency estimates that the production of sponge iron with synthetic gas, produced by gasification of biomass, as a reducing agent would reduce the process-related emissions in Sweden compared with conventional production of sponge iron with natural gas. As a comparison, Swedish production of 600 ktonnes of sponge iron based on gasification of biomass could lead to an annual saving of about 800,000 tonnes of fossil carbon dioxide compared with producing the corresponding amount of material via the current blast furnace process.

Furthermore, the Swedish Energy Agency assesses that the project has the potential to solve the possible deficit of high-quality scrap that can be caused by shutdowns of blast furnaces and the transition to scrap-based production. A possible replacement for scrap is sponge iron made from iron ore. By producing fossil-free manufactured sponge iron, the needs of the Swedish steel industry are expected to be covered in the future as well.”

Behind the project is a consortium consisting of Ovako, Sandvik Materials Technology, Uddeholm, Sveaskog and Lantmännen. The applicant is MMM Advice, which is managing the project together with Kobolde & Partners.

KTH and Chalmers will, together with the other project partners, carry out research and the idea is for these parts to be public as far as possible. FerroSilva also intends to seek collaboration with other players in the area to strengthen the knowledge build-up in this important area.