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Low cost charcoal production

Opportunity for

  • Companies interested in developing charcoal manufacturing facilities
  • Companies interested in charcoal for green metal production

Opportunity description

Industry challenge:

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.

Current opportunity:

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.

Other opportunities:

Potential other applications in phosphate production.

Opportunity type

Seeking interest

Readiness

Early (TRL 1-4)
Describes the challenge or opportunity being pursued and undertakes preliminary R&D to determine if the concept is feasible.
What does this mean?
Describes the stage of the challenge or opportunity being pursued.

Project led by

Multiple industries
Aquaculture Beef Cattle Cotton Dairy Fruits Grains Lamb Nuts Oilseeds Other rural industries Pasture, fodder & feed Poultry Pulse grains Sheep Sugar Vegetables Wild catch fisheries

Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

As Australia’s national science agency and innovation catalyst, CSIRO solves the greatest challenges through innovative science and technology. We …

Multiple industries
Aquaculture Beef Cattle Cotton Dairy Fruits Grains Lamb Nuts Oilseeds Other rural industries Pasture, fodder & feed Poultry Pulse grains Sheep Sugar Vegetables Wild catch fisheries
  • Location

    Global

  • Organisation type

    Public research organisation

Logo for Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO)

Focus areas

Industries

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