Metallurgical and production engineering research and development at Jernkontoret

Jernkontoret's energy program 2006-2010.

The aim of the energy program is to continue the cooperation with the energy intensive steel industry in order to ensure Sweden's leading position within the area of steel. There has been a fully-functional network and effective interplay for many years between Jernkontoret, research investors, research institutes, universities and members in the form of steel companies and the respective resources, A deciding factor to ensure this leading position is that energy research within the steel industry lies at a highly proficient level and continues to be developed and that a sufficient number of researchers can be trained and kept within the area of energy research.

Steel manufacturing brings with it significant energy consumption. This especially applies to iron ore production as well as scrap-metal steel manufacturing requiring a considerable amount of electricity. The steel industry in Sweden consumes a total of approx. 23 TWh (2003).

The total cost for the application to the Energy program, which covers nine subprojects within six areas of technology is 227.3 M SEK and the approved grant is 61.5 M SEK (27 %). The remaining financing comes from the steel companies' contributions.

The program has a calculated reduced energy consumption of 1 015 GWh/year (excluding the gasification project) which corresponds to 4.5-5 % of the steel industry's energy requirement. The reduced energy consumption is split 89 GWh/year electricity, 759 GWh/year coal and coke and 379 GWh/year oil and bottled gas (including 212 GWh/year for the gasification project). The potential for reduced carbon dioxide emissions is 375 ktonne CO2/year of which 61 ktonne CO2/year comes from electricity production (electric arc furnace, continuous casting and the rolling process).

The total number of projects in the project package is nine, of which four can be attributed to the metallurgical area and four to the heating and production engineering area, The ninth project concerns synthesis, follow-ups and the administration of Jernkontoret's energy program.

The four projects within the area of metallurgical are:

  1. Reduce coke consumption in blast-furnaces (340 GWh coal and coke per year)
  2. Energy effective refinement of iron ore (315 GWh coal and coke per year)
  3. Management and supervision of slag forming circuits in electric arc furnaces (95 GWh electricity, coal, coke, bottled gas and oil per year)
  4. Development of continuous casting chill moulds with soft chilling characteristics for the casting of steel that is liable to crack (30 GWh electricity, coal and coke per year)

The four projects within the areas of heating and production engineering are:

  1. Furnace management and superior process analysis (110 GWh coal, coke, bottled gas and oil per year)
  2. Energy effective operational strategy for the rolling process of advanced steel profiles (50 GWh electricity, bottled gas and oil per year)
  3. Energy saving by rapid heating and annealing (75 GWh oil and bottled gas per year)
  4. Reduced consumption of fossil fuel energy within the steel industry by HTAG (high temperature gasification) of biomass and waste (212 GWh oil and bottled gas per year)

The project package promotes energy research within the steel industry and is carried out with close collaboration between the university, the research institute and industry and trade. This leads to good conditions for the fulfilment of the project goal within a 10-year period, especially when looking at the support that exists within the industry and the cooperation that has been reported between the research groups and consumption.

At the end of June 2006 the government issued VINNOVA a commission in collaboration with the Jernkontoret to carry out a steel research program 2007-2012. The program is a so-called industry research program, where the steel industry shall a decisive influence on the design.