Low cost charcoal production
- Companies interested in developing charcoal manufacturing facilities
- Companies interested in charcoal for green metal production
Metal production contributes to about 10 per cent of global carbon dioxide emissions. The industry currently depends on coal to fuel its energy-intensive processes, including using coke as a reducing agent. An increasing global focus on reducing carbon emissions, new regulatory frameworks, financial penalties and shareholder activism are putting pressure on metal producers to reduce their dependence on coal and coke.
Charcoal is produced from the pyrolysis (high temperature decomposition) of organic material and can be used instead of coal and coke for metal production. The main barrier is cost, as existing pyrolysis processes are limited in scale and often require feedstocks in a particular form.
The CSIRO self-sustaining slow pyrolysis process is auto-thermal, which means that material in the reactor is heated only by the heat of pyrolysis reactions and does not require additional heat in any form. The technology enables larger reactors and a wider range of biomass feedstocks, both of which lower the cost. The process also generates valuable by-products including bio-oil and bio-gas.
The CSIRO has a pilot-scale facility capable of producing up to 1,000 tonnes of charcoal per year, as well as recovery of by-products for further processing offline. Opportunities exist for companies interested in charcoal production and use in activated carbon production, silicon production and iron and steel production.
Potential other applications in phosphate production.
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