Polymer Injection Technology Overview

  • Molycop is the licensee and global commercial partner with UNSW for Polymer Injection Technology.
  • It involves partially substituting injectant coke used in EAF steelmaking with polymer materials such as HDPE and rubber crumb, producing “Green Steel”.

 

  • Savings result from:
    • Reduction in electricity and electrode consumption,
    • Improvement in yield,
    • Increased productivity from reduced power-on-time,
    • Reduction in overall coke injectant use,
    • The substitution of rubber crumb for inject coke.

 

  • In addition to cost reductions listed above, the technology also provides EAF steelmakers with the potential to reduce their carbon emissions through lower electrical energy consumption.

Polymer Injection Technology Benefits

  • In conventional EAF steelmaking the injection of coke or anthracite (coal based products) produces a foamy slag, which acts as a blanket over the molten steel during the steelmaking process. Polymer Injection Technology provides benefits to EAF steelmakers by improving the foaming properties of the slag, using a blend of polymer and coke/anthracite.
  • The addition of the polymer to the injectant mix improves the volume and foaminess of the slag.
  • The improved slag foaming results in:
    • Superior insulation of molten bath and decreased heat loss through the slag,
    • Improved shrouding of the electrodes,
    • A longer electric arc and improved heat transfer from the arc to the steel.
  • This results in:
    • Reduced power on time,
    • Improved active power,
    • Reduced electrode wear,
    • Reduced electrical energy consumption,
    • Improved slag foaming results in a reduction in the amount of carbon injectant consumed per heat.
  • The addition of polymer to the coke injection also improves the reduction of the FeO in the slag due to the CH4 and H2 generated by the hydrogen in the This results in an increase in yield and significant scrap savings.

The Environmental Benefits of Polymer Injection Technology

  • Reduced carbon footprint through reduced CO2 emissions as a result of the potential to reduce electricity consumption.
  • End of life rubber products that are often diverted to landfill can now be recycled into value-added steel products.
  • Improved reduction of slag FeO results in improved steel yield.
  • High-temperature reactions in slag layer – therefore no noxious fumes or foul odours, plus a reduction dioxin emissions.
  • The sulfur content in tyre rubber has no adverse impact on steel quality. There is no reversion into steel, as all reactions happen in the slag layer
  • There is no discernible increase to the hydrogen level in the steel as a result of injecting rubber into the slag

GLOBAL OPPORTUNITY

Molycop holds the exclusive global license with UNSW’s commercialisation arm, New South Innovations (Nsi), which grants Molycop world-wide rights to sub-license the technology.  Molycop has entered into discussions with global steelmakers regarding implementing PIT within their operations.

With global steel production at 1.9 billion tonnes in 2020 – a quarter of that manufactured in electric arc furnaces – PIT has the potential to play an important role in greening the industry.  The average EAF steelmill has the potential to consume approximately 200,000 passenger tyres annually.

If you are interested in the deployment of PIT you can contact gmsales@molycop.com for more information.

SMaRT@UNSW

Founded in 2008 by ARC Laureate Fellow, Scientia Professor Veena Sahajwalla, the Centre for Sustainable Materials Research and Technology (SMaRT) at the University of New South Wales works with industry, national and international research partners, and governments across Australia, on the development of innovative environmental solutions for the world’s biggest waste challenges.

Our partnership with UNSW and the SMaRT Centre was born through a shared belief in the importance of innovation and forged through the ongoing exchange of knowledge and resources. From such groundbreaking innovations such as Polymer Injection Technology to our most recent work in the circular economy space, we look forward to seeing the fruits of our endeavours for many years to come.

“I see the future having a ‘materials loop’ where we think of materials as basic elements. In this world, all products will be recycled so that they lose their memory and are given a new life, without compromise.” says Sahajwalla.  “PIT has the potential to play an important role in the repurposing of end of life materials”

Click here to learn more about SMaRT@UNSW

MOLYCOP ACQUIRES WASTE MANAGEMENT COMPANY

Molycop is very pleased to announce the completion of the acquisition of the assets of the waste management company JLW Services. Molycop assumed control on the 1st of April, 2021 and has now rebranded the business as MOLYCOP 360.

Michael Parker, President of Molycop Australia says: “The purchase of JLW Services will cement our position at the forefront of responsible and sustainable steelmaking and manufacturing”. Molycop is already one of the largest supporters of investment in renewable energy in Australia through its offtake agreements with both Bowman Solar farm and Sapphire Wind farm. Its steel products have over 90% recycled content and up to 75% lower carbon emissions than competitors’ products.

“Molycop has been manufacturing and supplying essential steel products to vital Australian industries, including mining and rail transport, in Newcastle for over 100 years and is very proud to be supporting regional employment through the acquisition of JLW Services”.

This acquisition provides Molycop with the capability to collect and process various types of waste streams for our Australian based customers.  Steel scrap and end-of-life tyres can be used as raw material inputs to our steelmaking process in Newcastle.