Biomass as reducing agent in metallurgical processes

The main objectives in this field are (i) the integration of the biomass supply in the metallurgical process chain and (ii) a detailed characterization and description of the reduction and dissolution behavior of biomass-derived products in the processes. Moreover, the development of an adequate carbonization process is one of the main goals in order to achieve the optimum reducing agent quality.

Due to global warming and climate change, the development of sustainable processes in the industry is getting more and more important. Thus, the reduction of fossil CO2 emissions and the use of carbon neutral materials, i.e. biomass-derived products, is becoming fundamental. This fact is also emphasized by environmental legislation and restrictions, which are becoming much stricter, especially in the European Union. This ambitious target is only reachable with totally new ideas and innovative concepts in the energy sector as well as in the manufacturing industry. Particularly the usage and application of waste biomass as CO2-neutral feedstock material must be mentioned. The huge amount of waste biomass available from agricultural and forestry residues offers the required amounts of such renewable feedstock for a technical implementation in industrial scale.

A biomass slow pyrolysis process (carbonization) is necessary in order to produce a suitable charcoal which meets the metallurgical requirements. The quality of the produced charcoal is one of the main points that have to be taken into consideration. This will influence the feasible substitution potential of fossil carbon by charcoal.

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