31 January 2023
by Alex Brinded

Making hydrogen from steel production scraps

The Materials Processing Institute, UK, is parnering with Nanomox, an Imperial College London spin-out, to make carbon-free hydrogen from steelmaking sludges.

The pre-heat ladle at the Institute’s Normanton Plant © Materials Processing Institute

The feasibility study also seeks to extract valuable materials, including zinc, from the waste.

The institute says that there are 6.7Mt of steelmaking sludge being stockpiled in the UK, with 90Kt generated annually.

The steel industry is looking for ways to replace the coke and fossil fuels that power furnaces and concert iron ore to iron metal.

The study will be based at Imperial as Nanomox has developed a patent-pending process using green catalytic solvents at low temperatures to achieve direct oxidation of metals. The company says that it can treat metal-containing wastes while producing significant volumes of hydrogen.

The study will gather data on production rates and optimal conditions. Afterwards there will be a proposal to use the institute's onsite steelmaking works, which includes a zinc removal plant.

The £173k study is being funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy through its Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator Programme under the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio.


Alex Brinded

Staff Writer