CPL develops ecoke 100%, trials in blast furnaces

CPL Industries has started supplying ecoke 100% and also carried out trials with blast furnace-based steelmakers, the firm informs Kallanish.

The firm’s ecoke 30% product, biocoke that contains a minimum of 30% of renewable biomass, was successfully trialled by Liberty Steel UK in 2022 to replace anthracite as its main source of charge carbon in the Rotherham electric arc furnace.

Since then, “we’ve been on journey to increase the biomass”, CPL chief executive Jason Sutton tells Kallanish. Liberty’s Rotherham plant is now sourcing 100% biomass-containing ecoke. This enables a carbon emissions reduction at that operation of about 30%. The high level of biomass works well for some steelmakers, while others need a higher level of carbon and so have stuck with the 30% product, Sutton explains.

Spanish steelmaker Sidenor, which also trialled ecoke 30% in 2022, has since moved on to commercial use of the product.

CPL successfully completed trials with blast furnace-based steelmakers to replace the nut coke in their burden with ecoke. Although it is not supplying commercially into those facilities, the trials proved ecoke technically succeeded as a nut coke replacement.

The firm is also in talks to agree commercial terms for ecoke supply to a number of stainless steelmakers in Scandinavia as a metallurgical coke replacement.

CPL anticipates increased demand for ecoke will take it to its full capacity of 500,000 tonnes/year and is considering expanding in future.

As for its feedstock, the firm sources biomass products from agricultural residues and a biocarbon element that principally comes from Africa. It does not foresee any supply constraints, but intends to work with partners to ensure sufficient volumes and logistics capabilities, Sutton concludes.

Adam Smith Poland