Metso Outotec invests in pilot plant for a hydrogen-based direct reduction process

Metso Outotec 700 mm CFB pilot plant.

Metso Outotec will convert its existing 700 mm Circulating Fluidised Bed (CFB) pilot plant in Frankfurt, Germany, for hydrogen-based direct reduction of fine ore, applying the proven Planet Positive Circored technology.

The pilot plant can also be used for the reduction of high-grade iron fines concentrate and to confirm the design basis for an industrial-scale Circored plant. Commissioning of the plant is expected to take place by December 2023.

“The investment enables us to pilot the reduction of low-grade iron concentrate fines in larger quantities than what we do today, and, subsequently, perform downstream fines DRI electric smelting tests for hot metal production. The Circored processing route used in the process offers the lowest possible carbon footprint in the iron-making segment of an integrated steel plant,” says Parizat Pandey, director, Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) at Metso Outotec.

Once operational, the 700 mm pilot plant will be able to continuously produce 150 – 200 kg/h of direct reduced iron, using 100% hydrogen as the sole reducing agent. The pilot plant will have an integrated pre-heating and reduction section, followed by a gas cleaning and recirculation facility. The investment includes installation of electric heaters in the process, making it an almost zero-carbon-emission plant. The data obtained from the use of electric heaters will be used to scale up the design of industrial heaters capable to running on renewable energy.

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