Hydrogen application and system level modelling of solar-thermal boosted fluidised bed iron-making

June 20th, 2022

R&D Focus Areas:
Industrial heat processes, Technology integration process improvement

Lead Organisation:

Australian National University


Start date:
July 2021

Completion date:
December 2024

Key contacts:
Dr Nawshad Haque: Nawshad.Haque@csiro.au

CSIRO Hydrogen Energy Systems Future Science Platform

Project total cost:

Project summary description:
The iron and steelmaking sector is responsible to 30% of global carbon dioxide emissions, making it one of the largest industrial sources of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Alternative sustainable routes such as biomass used for sintering or fuel, electric ironmaking and hydrogen-based ironmaking processes have gained recent attraction to make this sector emission free.

Hydrogen has the highest potential to replace fossil fuels because hydrogen produced from renewable sources allows potentially emission free reduction and avoids forming harmful GHG during the reduction process and it reduces the disintegration, swelling, sticking of iron oxide during the ironmaking process, which is a challenge to eliminate with the other mentioned routes. As such, this research focuses on thermodynamic modelling of ironmaking process using FactSage software. The FactPS, FactOxide and FactMisc databases were used to model the two-stage reactor.

The two-stage model developed with the first reactor operating at a temperature up to 650°C and other reactor temperatures varying from 650°C to 900°C. Critical parameters such as temperature and hydrogen requirement for different oxide formation viz Fe3O4, FeO, hydrogen to water ratio and gas oxidation degree was determined to study the developed model.

This project has following main objectives:

  • Feasibility of carbon-free iron-making process using hydrogen from renewable energy sources
  • The evaluation of the efficiency of the technology. The research will investigate if the overall system is cost effective in comparison to the existing technologies.

The scope of the technology will be assessed, if it can be implemented globally or only in a few countries where a specific renewable energy is available considering the Australian context (e.g. availability of solar radiations is variable in each country).

This research is in its early phase; currently CSIRO is working on literature review. Preliminary study on FactSage, a reaction thermodynamic software, is used to study the thermodynamics of the hydrogen iron-making process. Aspen modelling: This process will be modelled on Aspen to understand the detailed reaction kinetics.

The developed model will be modified according to various cases and a comparative analysis will explained with an optimum model. Thermodynamic analysis viz enthalpy and Gibbs energy will indicate more clearly the conversion’s optimum conditions. Further, a model will be developed to include gangue particles in iron ore to bring out conditions close to real processing. Experiments will also include to test the validity of the model. With available resources, essential iron ore characterisation and its behaviour under nitrogen (inert condition) would be studied. The dedicated experimental facility (fluidised bed reactor) is being acquired.

Related publications and key links:
None available at this time.

Higher degree studies supported:
One PhD student is supported.


June 2022