Coffee can replace coal in steelmaking: UNSW

The University of New South Wales has published three papers in favor of replacing coal with coffee grounds and hydrogen in its patented Green Steel technology.

The University’s Center for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (UNSW SMaRT) has discovered that its Green Steel Polymer Injection (PIT) technology can be used to produce more durable steel in furnaces electric arc.

UNSW SMaRT Center Director Veena Sahajwalla said plastic and coffee grounds could now join a list of waste materials that can replace coal as carbon sources for steelmaking.

“Steelmakers must meet the demands of quality requirements. The metal that is produced has no memory of whether the parent material that came in was coal or coffee,” she said.

Research does not yet eliminate all coking coal from the steelmaking process and current methods find that a particular mix of injected materials produces the best result: high quality steel.

But Sahajwalla said the end goal is to produce steel with no coke at all.

“If you have a combination of materials, you get a better result because you’re able to refine and customize the green steel, and take the types of materials that do the best job,” she said. declared.

“It gives you the kind of productivity requirements that any commercial operator will want.

“We have proven that he does the job at a comparable level, so we will at least be sitting at an equivalent performance. If I want to be that bold and brave, I would like to show that he can do even better.

Green steelmaking processes have received increasing attention over the past six months, with BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group all investing time in their research.

The three UNSW articles detailing the research results can all be found here.

About William J. Harris

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