NEW YORK Berry Metal Co.
has been tapped to lend its expertise in equipment design and
manufacturing to an $8.9-million flash ironmaking project
selected by the U.S. Department of Energy as part of its
Innovative Manufacturing Initiative.
Berry, a Harmony, Pa.-based
company that focuses on the design and manufacture of injection
lance equipment and technology, is joining the American Iron
and Steel Institute and researchers at the University of Utah
in the collaborative effort, which is keyed toward developing
an energy-efficient and environmentally preferred alternative
to the traditional blast furnace ironmaking route, the company
Early test results have shown
that the breakthrough process, which uses direct gaseous
reduction of fine iron concentrates to make iron, can achieve
carbon dioxide reductions of up to 50 percent depending on the
reductant, Berry said.
"We have an abundance of natural
gas, and this technology provides the ability to take advantage
of natural gas finds, such as the Marcellus Shale, in the near
term and hydrogen in the longer term," Lou Valentas, director
of technology and applications at Berry, said in a
Berry, which is responsible for
engineering, designing and fabricating the reactor, said it has
already devised a solution to advance the flash ironmaking
project from a small-scale laboratory experiment to a
much-larger-scale pre-pilot reactor that is set to begin
testing during the next two years.
After testing at the large-scale
lab is complete, the research will continue, with the goal of
using hydrogen to further cut emissions, energy and costs.
"Its still in the early
stages," said Berry president George Koenig, "but were
very proud to be part of a project that does nothing but good
things for our partners, the industry and the community."