The Anonymous Widower

Green Groups Furious As New Coalmine In Cumbria Is Approved

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times.

These two paragraphs outline the story.

Michael Gove has approved the first deep coalmine in 30 years, despite calls from environmental activists and Labour to turn down the project.

The levelling-up secretary’s planning approval for the mine in Cumbria comes after two years of opposition. Critics said that it would increase emissions and 85 per cent of the coking coal would be exported to produce steel.cumbria

In March 2019, I wrote Whitehaven Deep Coal Mine Plan Moves Step Closer, when local councillors unanimously backed the plan.

In that post, I speculated about the possibility of using the coal from Cumbria with the HIsarna ironmaking process and wrote this.

In Wikipedia, there is an entry for the HIsarna ironmaking process.

This process is being developed by the Ultra-Low Carbon Dioxide Steelmaking (ULCOS) consortium, which includes Tata Steel and the Rio Tinto Group. Reduction in carbon-dioxide produced by the process compared to traditional steel-making are claimed to be as high as fifty percent.

This figure does not include carbon-capture to reduce the carbon-dioxide still further.

However, looking at descriptions of the process, I feel that applying carbon-capture to the HIsarna steelmaking process might be a lot easier, than with traditional steelmaking.

If you are producing high quality steel by a process like HIsarna, you want to make sure that you don’t add any impurities from the coal, so you have a premium product.

So is Cumbrian metallurgical coal important to the HIsarna process?

I originally heard that the coal from Whitehaven was very pure carbon and I felt as the HIsarna process uses powdered coal, there might be a connection between the two projects. Reading today in The Times article, it seems that the Cumbrian coal has some sulphur. So either the HIsarna project is dead or the Dutch have found a way to deal with the sulphur.

The HIsarna process is a continuous rather than a batch process and because of that, it should be easier to capture the carbon dioxide for use elsewhere or storage in a depleted gas field.

There’s more to come out on the reason for the approval of the project.

I shall be digging hard to see what I can find. But I do believe a steel-making process, that uses a much smaller amount of coal, not coke, could lead to a more economic way of making zero-carbon steel than using hydrogen created by electrolysis.

Carbon capture would need to be used to deal with carbon dioxide produced, but progress is being made with this technology.

 

December 8, 2022 - Posted by | World | , , , , , ,

2 Comments »

  1. So where do greens believe steel for wind farms is going to come from? Better to have raw materials extracted in an environmentally secure way than a free for all that is the norm in many third world countries

    Comment by Nicholas Lewis | December 8, 2022 | Reply

  2. If British Steel were to use HIsarna at Scunthorpe, I believe that we could create a carbon capture and use network from the steel works, that could feed plants and flowers under glass in Lincolnshire. Dyson is involved in cultivating strawberries in the county and they are excellent after their pre-sale vacuum.

    With SSE building a carbon-neutral power complex at Keadby, it could all get very green in the area. I will be writing about SSE’s plans later or tomorrow.

    HIsarna does need powered-coal, which could come from Whitehaven.

    Note that my green thinking is scientifically green!

    Did you see my post about HiiROC. I wonder if carbon black could be used to reduce iron ore to iron? It’s pure carbon, as is coal that is used to make steel. HiiROC has certainly got backers with pockets containing Loadsamoney!

    Comment by AnonW | December 8, 2022 | Reply


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