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Höganäs and Cortus Energy break new ground with ground-breaking ceremony

Höganäs AB, a Sweden-based metal powder and powder products manufacturer and Swedish biomass gasification technology developer Cortus Energy AB have broken "new ground" with a ground-breaking ceremony at the Höganäs facility for what is dubbed as the world’s first industrial plant for biomass-to-gas and green coke. The goal is to transform biomass into solid and gaseous renewable energy, which can be used in the iron and steel industry.

The ground-breaking ceremony for world’s first biomass-to-gas and green coke plant at Höganäs with (left) Nicklas Lång, SVP Sustainability Höganäs, Rolf Ljungren, CEO Cortus Energy and Fredrik Emilson, CEO Höganäs (photo courtesy Höganäs).

The search for renewable energy and material alternatives to fossil fuels that both decrease carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions and work in iron and steel production has been on for a long time. The industry’s climate impact is directly related to its core process and today’s working solutions are fossil – coal, oil and gas.

But according to the companies, there is a new solution within reach. Industry and academia in Sweden have joined forces in project Probiostål to investigate the possibilities to produce renewable energy with the help of Cortus Energy and its proprietary “WoodRoll” biomass gasification technology.

For Höganäs, this is a part of our long-term strategy to go from fossil fuels to renewable energy. To succeed we must get engaged, pitch in resources and take the lead in exploring new opportunities, said Nicklas Lång, Senior Vice President Sustainability at Höganäs.

Biomass for demanding industry processes

With Cortus Energy’s technology, biomass is gasified into energy gas and green coke, both of which are energy sources that can be used in Höganäs’ metal powder production. The first industrial plant with Cortus’ technology, which is now being built on Höganäs’ industrial compound, will be connected to one of the furnaces in production and will be tested under real conditions.

We are very happy to build WoodRoll in industrial scale together with Höganäs AB and we look forward to verifying the good results shown in previous tests. The plant in Höganäs will be a milestone for our company and a platform from which to offer WoodRoll as a solution in the necessary transformation from fossil to renewable energy, not only within the industry but in many other areas, said Rolf Ljunggren, CEO Cortus Energy.

The plant will start up during the first half of 2018 and then be tested in Höganäs’ production. If the tests show positive results, Cortus Energy will start regular deliveries of the renewable energy products during 2019. This would enable Höganäs to reduce fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from its production by around 10 000 tonnes annually.

It would also be the break-through for gasification of biomass to generate renewable energy for demanding industrial processes in Sweden.

About Probioståhl

The Probiostål project started in 2014 with a pre-study where both the academia and the industry participated. The purpose was to investigate the possibility of producing renewable energy in commercial scale for use in Höganäs’ metal powder production.

Apart from Höganäs and Cortus Energy, the following companies have been a part of the project: ABB, Calderys, SSAB, Sveaskog, Södra and Outokumpu.

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