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Photo: Ted Karlsson
Kentaro Umeki, Associate Professor of Energy Engineering at Luleå University of Technology. Photo: Ted Karlsson. View original picture , opens in new tab/window

Five million granted for research on fossil-free steel production

Published: 19 December 2018

Kentaro Umeki, Associate Professor in Energy Engineering, has been granted over five million SEK by the Swedish Energy Agency for a four-year project on sustainable production of metal powder by using biochar. The project will be carried out at Höganäs’ facilities and is part of a research call to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the process industry.

– In order to cope with the climate target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045, it is important that all parts of the steel industry find ways to get rid of carbon dioxide emissions. We also see that an attitude change is taking place with consumers, environmental impact has become an important criterion when buying products. It would be very good if you could choose products based on "green steel", says Kentaro Umeki.

The project aims at developing basic knowledge to fully replace fossil fuels used by Höganäs in the production of metal powders and instead use biomass-based biochar that is produced by organic materials such as wood, garden residues and food waste.

In the project, three PhD students and two senior researchers, Professor Marcus Öhman and Associate Professor Elisabeth Wetterlund, will be involved. Kentaro Umeki believes the research can be an important piece of the puzzle in society's pursuit of sustainability.

– Large parts of the research results will be general and benefit other industries. If we look at the steel industry, it is one of the most CO2-intensive industries we have, which means that advances in this area really can contribute to the development of a more sustainable society. Thanks to the Swedish Energy Agency's support, we can build knowledge that supports the development of biomass-based production of metal powder.

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