Calix awarded $947,000 for engineering and design study on demo-scale iron factory


The Australian Renewable Energy Agency has announced $947,000 in funding to Calix, supporting an investigation into the feasibility of a hydrogen direct reduced iron (DRI) plant using the Australian company’s Zero Emissions Steel Technology (ZESTY) process.

According to a statement from ARENA, the funding would assist a pre-FEED and FEED (Front End Engineering and Design) study for a demonstration-scale plant with 30,000 tonnes per annum capacity of HDRI. 

The study, budgeted at $1.96 million, is expected to conclude in late-2023. It will decide whether or not a demonstration plant is built.

DRI can be used as a feedstock for electric arc furnace steelmaking. It is conventionally made using natural gas, with hydrogen an emerging lower-emissions alternative.

Calix announced the patenting of the electrically-heated ZESTY process late-last year. It builds on Calix’s kiln technology, using this to reduce iron ore in a hydrogen atmosphere at lower temperatures than a blast furnace, which it says is due to ZESTY’s ability to handle small particle sizes, or fines.

ARENA CEO Darren Miller described Calix’s process as a prime example of Australian innovation tackling globally-relevant challenges.

“Decarbonising heavy industries like steel is a big challenge, and a big opportunity, and ARENA is looking to support companies like Calix that are developing potential solutions,” Miller said in a statement..

“For Australia and the world to meet our net zero targets, we’ll need to develop new ways of making materials the world relies on.”

Pictured: Calix CEO Dr Phil Hodgson (supplied)

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