Industrial Mineral technology at MinFo

The Swedish Energy Agency has supported four projects within MinFo's industrial mineral technology research for the period 2007-2010.

The program's budget amounts to 37.8 M SEK. The Swedish Energy Agency has contributed with 13.05 M SEK (35 %). Fellow investors are MinFo's member companies who consist of mineral producers, institutes, rock material producers, equipment suppliers and even smaller companies.

Sweden produces 11 M tonnes of industrial mineral per year of which limestone is the most abundant. Energy consumption for the production of mineral-based products amounts to 5 TWh/year and makes up almost 3.3 % of the industry's total energy consumption. The mineral industry along with the mining industry thereby holds fourth place in relation to industrial energy consumption.

MinFo is an industrial pool with business-managed program operations. MinFo's commission is to promote research and development in the mineral technology areas in industries which do not have their own industry institutes. The refinement process is energy intensive in both terms of the enrichment of the mineral as well as the further refinement of the mineral products. The projects below primarily handle the development of thermal burning processes and methods for the optimisation of raw materials thereby reducing exchange losses. In addition, there is a separate coordination project to guarantee energy delivery during the period of the project.

The four projects are:

  1. The production of concrete with crushed rock material (4 M SEK, 340 GWh/year)
  2. The production of burnt carbon products (3.05 M SEK, 251 GWh/year)
  3. Energy efficient oxygen burning process and carbon dioxide separation in the cement and limestone industry (4.5 M SEK, 562 GWh/year)
  4. Follow-up, technology distribution and information (1.5 M SEK)

The aim of the program is to establish a competitive Swedish mineral industry which presents the most energy-effective products measured as kWh per SEK conversion value. This shall be achieved by reduced energy consumption per tonne in finished products. Through close collaboration with the industry the hope is that the results of the research will soon be implemented in the industry.

The potential to reduce energy use for the entire project package is estimated at 1153 GWh per year after 15 years, of which reduced energy consumption will amount to 52 GWh/year, reduced use of coal 462 GWh/year, reduced use of fuel 624 GWh/year and diesel 15 GWh/year. At the end of the project it is estimated that energy consumption will have decreased by 104 GWh per year and after 10 years by 825 GWh/year.