Concurrent Production of Syngas and Steel from Coal, Biomass and Iron Ore

Period of Performance: 01/01/2008 - 12/31/2008


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Up Steel
120 US 41 East
Negaunee, MI 49866
Principal Investigator
Firm POC


Currently, the United States is the largest steel importer in the world, importing 46 million tons in 2006. The development and deployment of a revolutionary steelmaking technology is needed to regain competitiveness. In current steel production by integrated mills, 2.5-3.5 tons of furnace gas containing up to 40% CO and 6% H2 is released to the environment per ton of liquid iron produced. This project takes advantage of this furnace gas by developing a new technology for simultaneously producing syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen, with the production of steel. The technology is based on a combination of microwave, electric arc, and exothermal heating. All heating and reactions take place continuously in an enclosed system. The ultimate products of the technology will be steel and gasoline. Phase I will use laboratory-scale testing and modeling to determine the composition and yield of the generated syngas as a function of feed materials. Commercial Applications and other Benefits as described by the awardee: The technology should enable the generation of approximately 1.2 ton of syngas during the production of one ton of steel. If 75% of the 130 million tons of annual U.S. steel consumption were produced using this technology, and if 80% of the generated syngas were converted into gasoline, then 94 million tons of gasoline would be produced annually, which is equal to 1/4 of total U.S. gasoline consumption today.