A new iron plant has been given the go ahead, using green technology the facility is expected to produce 100,000 metric tonnes of iron nuggets per year.
Located in Jamestown, North Dakota, Carbontec Energy Corporation has developed a process that uses the waste from sugar beets, wood chips and other biomass to make pig iron grade nuggets which are 96 per cent iron and 2 – 3 per cent carbon.
The company says that this technology ". . . could substantially reduce the CO2, SOx, NOx and mercury emissions that are related to coke oven and blast furnace pig iron production, worldwide".
The project’s construction phase is estimated to cost US$60 million but once ramp up is complete the expected annual revenue is predicted to be almost $50 million, Bismarck Tribune reports.
Opening next year, the new manufacturing plant will be 80,000 square feet and the company expects to gradually expand production to 300,000 tonnes per year.
Chairman of Carbontec John Simmons, said the patented process took five years to develop and that utilising biomass instead of coal makes it carbon neutral.
The plant will use iron ore concentrate from northern Minnesota.