The GreenIron production process

The output of the GreenIron process is valuable commodities extracted from magnetite, hematite, waste and residual products from the steel-, mining- and manufacturing industry. The process is completely CO2 free, the only emissions from the process is water and pure iron pellets.

The production process is centered around a 5-ton Bell furnace with electric heating units. The furnace is charged with oxidized iron-based pellets and evacuated. Thereafter the furnace is heated to ca 650°C and pressurized hydrogen is added. The Laws of Nature regarding pressure differences, temperature and mass are the main drivers of the process.

The process is a solid state process, e.g. the material processed never reaches the melting temperature. The structure of the process and the low working temperature allows for minimum wear and tear and thus a low cost of maintenance.

Cycle-based process

The GreenIron process is cycle based which means that a specific amount of material can be handled per cycle. A 5 tonne charge has a cycle time of 1 hour. If the pellets in a cycle is based on oxidized scale from the production of stainless steel the output of the process can be described as DRI pellets with an alloy content. If Magnetite or Hematite is used as input material then a DRI pellet with an iron content >98% will be produced. Due to the process methodology the DRI pellet is not pyrophoric.

A cycle based process also allows for varying the input material on a cycle by cycle basis. In other words, the first cycle can have oxidized scale based pellets, the second cycle can be based on grinding swarf, the third cycle can be magnetite or hematite based. The fourth cycle can be iron oxide with a predefined level of alloys creating a specific amount of material with specific characteristics. The ability to produce exact amounts of a material with specific characteristics with such ease is also unique in the market today.

Small scale and modular

The GreenIron solution is small scale but modular and thus on paper infinitely scalable. A single furnace can process up to 43.000 tonnes of oxidized material per year. With a duo furnace (two interconnected furnaces) the double amount will be produced with a reduced energy cost as heat will be reused between the two furnaces. The consumption of hydrogen in the furnace is in accordance with the theoretical minimum for the material to be processed. All hydrogen that is not consumed in a cycle can be re-used in the following cycle.

Very low capital requirement

GreenIron offers a production process which is both environmentally friendly and cost competitive. The modular and small-scale solution allows for a very low capital requirement which, together with the low operational cost, result in increased profitability compared to existing fossil based processes. The low operational cost is due to the low level of energy consumption and the low maintenance requirements. A sustainable production process also add value since customers, investors, banks and society in general increasingly favors companies using environmentally friendly production methods. A client of GreenIron supports a circular economy by profitably being able to increase the recycling of waste and residual products from their production process.

The small scale and modular solution from GreenIron allows our customers , due to the low initial investment cost and fast payback time, to increase the scope of their recycling with a flexible and desired speed. The profits from the first furnace can be used to fund further expansion of the GreenIron solution step by step.

The simplicity of the GreenIron process

The material to be processed must initially be pelletised prior to insertion into the furnace. The pellets are then put into a ”bucket” whereafter the charge is inserted into the furnace. The process is started by heating the charge to the point that the process of reduction begins and water is created. When the reduction is completed the material is cooled before ending the process and removing the charge from the furnace. The output is non-pyrophoric iron pellets that can be reintroduced into the steelmaking process.

A furnace with a capacity (size of charge) of 5 tonnes has a diameter of ca 2,5 meters.