Oxygen as enabler for energy-efficient and climate-neutral iron oxide processes and products


Charlotte Andersson




Purpose and goal

In the transition to a fossil-free society, hydrogen is expected to become increasingly important. The production of fossil-free hydrogen through electrolysis of water will generate a large amount of oxygen that can be used in the production of iron ore oxides agglomerates to further be used in iron-making. The oxidation that occurs during that production is an exothermic reaction affected by the oxygen content and the project aims to investigate to what extent it is possible to use oxygen and thus reduce or eliminate all supply of external fuel in the iron oxide product processes.

Expected results and effects

The outcome of the proposed project could lead to a reduction or elimination of the external energy in the pelletizing process. This would have a direct positive environmental impact in Sweden with an overall reduction in CO2 emission as well as production and cost efficiency. Besides the benefits for the Swedish mining and metal-producing companies the project will bring fundamental knowledge into using oxygen in the production of iron ore products, knowledge that could be applied in other operations reducing the sector’s overall CO2 foot-print.

Planned approach and implementation

The project is a joint collaboration between academia, the two iron oxide producing companies in Sweden and a technology supplier, to investigate to what extent oxygen can be used in the production of iron oxides products and the implications on energy consumption, CO2 emissions and product properties. The project will study all different aspects of oxygen usage during oxidation and induration, such as the effect of raw materials, gas flows, temperature and the impact oxygen has on the product´s properties during hydrogen reduction.