HIsarna holds big hope for green, low-cost iron making: Tata Steel

The process promises use of high-phosphorous iron ore which the blast furnace route cannot use, as phosphorous gets into steel making and thereafter into products. The new process also results in almost 100% carbon dioxide formation as the reaction rate is very high. Also, the off-gas, rich in carbon dioxide, can, unlike in the blast furnace process, be captured.

"The process holds a 20% carbon dioxide reduction possibility straightaway (compared with present-day BF process) and if be captured and sequestered, the CO2 reduction can go up to 80%," Bhattacharjee said. While oxygen is charged from above, the reduction reaction takes place in the cyclone reactor where haematite is first reduced to ferrous oxide and sent down to the bath, where, in the dripping slag, coal and oxygen are charged directly, to reduce the ferrous oxide to iron, with the slag being allowed to pass down. So confident are consortium partners about HIsarna's commercial prospect that apart from agreeing to patent rights over equipments going into the process, they have also already entered into a pact over its commercialisation rights.

"We have unlimited rights within Tata Steel, so we can put up a plant wherever we want within our geographies; similarly, if we want to sell the technology in other geographies there are number restrictions for the parties to the agreement", said the Tata Steel group director, R&D.

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