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Life cycle based climate emissions of charcoal conditioning routes for the use in the ferro-alloy production

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posted on 2023-01-20, 12:22 authored by Gerrit Ralf Surup, Hamideh Kaffash, Yan Ma, Anna TrubetskayaAnna Trubetskaya, Johan Berg Pettersen, Merete Tangstad

Renewable reductants are intended to significantly reduce CO2 emissions from ferro-alloy production, e.g., by up to 80% in 2050 in Norway. However, charcoals provide inferior properties compared to fossil fuel-based reductants, which can hamper large replacement ratios. Therefore, conditioning routes from coal beneficiation was investigated to improve the inferior properties of charcoal, such as mechanical strength, volatile matter, CO2 reactivity and mineral matter content.To evaluate the global warming potential of renewable reductants, the CO2 emissions of upgraded charcoal were estimated by using a simplified life cycle assessment, focusing on the additional emissions by the energy demand, required chemicals and mass loss for each process stage. The combination of ash removal, briquetting and high-temperature treatment can provide a renewable coke with superior properties compared to charcoal, but concomitantly decrease the available biomass potential by up to 40%, increasing the CO2-based global warming potential of industrial produced charcoal to ≈500 kg CO2-eq. t−1 FC. Based on our assumptions, CO2 emissions from fossil fuel-based reductants can be reduced by up to 85%. A key to minimizing energy or material losses is to combine the pyrolysis and post-treatment processes of renewable reductants to upgrade industrial charcoal on-site at the metallurgical plant. Briquetting showed the largest additional global warming potential from the investigated process routes, whereas the high temperature treatment requires a renewable energy source to be sustainable.

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Energies, 15 (11), 3933

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MDPI

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  • School of Engineering

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