DOE lights fuse on AISI flash ironmaking initiative

Aug 23, 2012 | 04:38 PM | Jo Isenberg

The competition was easily as hot as the molten iron the novel smelting process is expected to produce but when the final results were tallied, an American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) project proposal to be conducted in collaboration with the University of Utah had been selected by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Innovative Manufacturing Initiative for a $7.1 million award.  The project, which seeks to develop a new ironmaking process based on the gaseous reduction of fine iron concentrates, is keyed to reduce the energy needed to make iron while reducing environmental emissions, especially carbon dioxide, by up to 50 percent. In an exclusive one-on-one interview, Larry Kavanagh, president, Steel Market Development Institute (SMDI), a business unit of the American Iron and Steel Institute, discusses the background, status, and focus of the project as well as the impact of the Shale gas revolution on process objectives and dynamics.

Inner Circle: Let’s start with a brief background of the flash ironmaking process, a timeline of the AISI’s involvement in its evolution. And then we’ll go on to a description of the details of what’s, what’s behind it and how things will work.
AISI’s Kavanagh: We started in 2003. The steel industry in North America recognized at the time that new in order to achieve the same type of energy efficiency reductions we’d accomplished in the past 20 years--which at that point was on the order of 25- to 28-percent -- new processes would be necessary going forward. ....

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