CIM Montreal 2015
John Simmons (Carbontec Energy Corporation)
E-IRON NUGGET PROCESS
Abstract of the Paper prepared for the 5th North American Iron Ore Symposium
CIM 2015 Convention, Montreal, Quebec, Canada
May 10 – 13, 2015
Presenter: John Simmons, Chairman
Carbontec Energy Corporation
Bismarck, North Dakota
Carbontec Energy Corporation is a developer of technology for the energy, automobile and iron and steel industries. Carbontec’s business plan is to develop and license its technologies or to commercialize the technologies on its own or through establishing Joint Ventures to own and operate the production facilities. Carbontec has developed other technologies in the energy field that have been commercialized in plant facilities that have produced more than $1,300,000,000 in bottom line earnings. Carbontec Energy Corporation owns the worldwide licensing rights to the E-Iron Nugget Process.
Carbontec Energy Corporation funded and developed an innovative, biomass based, low carbon footprint technology at Michigan Technological University, Houghton, Michigan. This technology, described as the E-Iron NuggetTM process, provides a low fuel consumption, single-step process that produces high quality, 95-96%, 2.5% carbon and 0.017 sulfur iron nuggets utilizing organic biomass as the reductant instead of coke or coal.
The use of biomass (dried, ground hardwood or softwood chips or sugar beet residue) not only provides a low carbon footprint operation but since biomass is generally cheaper than coal or coke, reduces the overall costs of production. Since these biomass reducing agents are renewable, any CO2 emitted is recaptured from the atmosphere when they are reproduced, with the net contribution of CO2 from the biomass reductant used in this process near zero.
The E-Iron NuggetTM process will use a linear hearth furnace instead of a rotary hearth furnace. Furnace problems are generally related to the hearth; a replacement of the hearth refractories on a rotary furnace requires several weeks of down time for cooling, replacement of the damaged refractory and re-heating. The hearth refractory replacement in a linear furnace on the other hand, is accomplished with the substitution of a new car, with no time lost.
The E-NuggetTM technology has been patented in the United States, China, Australia and South Africa. There are additional patents pending in most other iron ore producing and steel making countries. Patents on process improvements are also being pursued.
The primary competition for pig iron grade iron nuggets in the United States are from pig iron producers in Brazil, Russia and the Ukraine. Since the production of pig iron in the United States is primarily captive and used for the producer’s own consumption, E-Iron Nuggets will provide a viable low cost and low carbon footprint alternative for electric furnace steel companies and foundries without a captive source of pig iron.
Carbontec has formed E-Nugget North Dakota, LLC who is proceeding with the design and construction of an E-Iron NuggetTM plant in the Spiritwood Energy Park, east of Jamestown, North Dakota. Plans are in place to build an initial 100,000 tonne/year plant, which will be operated for one year, and expanded to produce 300,000 tonnes/year. We expect that this plant will be in the lowest quartile, cost wise, of any pig iron producer in the United States and Canada. We are very interested in discussing this project with potential joint venture partners.