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Jun 13, 2024

Decarbonizing the steel industry – transformative collaboration in Rio Tinto’s BioIron™ process

In an era where decarbonization is no longer a choice but a necessity, Rio Tinto and Metso together with the University of Nottingham are leading the change toward a more sustainable future by collaborating for the development of BioIron™, a low-carbon steelmaking process. By joining forces, we can work together and drive positive change.

Rio Tinto is developing the BioIronTM technology further and has announced an investment of USD 143 million to develop a research and development facility with a semi-industrial scale pilot plant in Western Australia to further assess the viability of the process.

Metso has been a key contributor to the development of the BioIron™ technology via our expertise in high temperature metallurgical processing and engineering. It has been an exciting collaborative journey, starting from the installation of a laboratory scale pilot plant in the Metso research facilities in Germany to transferring the learnings to a semi-industrial plant design concept. This has been done by working hand in hand with Rio Tinto and the microwave specialists at the University of Nottingham.

While Rio Tinto has selected the site for the pilot plant and is preparing the next steps towards the realisation, Metso continues to progress as planned with the detailed engineering of Rio Tinto’s BioIronTM pilot plant.

“It has been great to work side by side with the exceptional team at Metso to bring this innovative technology through to the next stage of development,” shares David Leigh, GM, Steel Decarbonization at RioTinto.

“BioIron™ has the potential to play a significant role in a low-carbon steel future and Metso is proud to contribute to this transformative initiative,” shares Matthias Gabriel, Director, Ferrous at Metso. “We wish Rio Tinto all the best and are happy to support them on this journey toward a cleaner, more resilient steel industry.”

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