Kobe Steel to Develop Coke Making Technology with Hyper-Coal

Kobe Steel promotes development of utilization technology of ashless coal, hyper-coal, which is made by applying solvent deashing technology, for coke making. The firm expects the new technology allows using hyper-coal as reducing agent for iron and nonferrous metals making. The firm already started test operation to use hyper-coal studying potential construction of pilot plant. The firm tries to develop breakthrough technology to use hyper-coal as coke material when high grade coal resource gets tighter worldwide under increasing demand for iron making and energy.

Low grade brown coal and subbituminous coal represent around half of world coal resources. Supply of high grade bituminous coal with higher calorie gets tight due to strong demand for iron making raw material in emerging countries. One of the solutions is to develop technology to use lower grade coal through low grade coal upgrading technology to increase the resource base.

Kobe Steel is one of the pioneers to develop the upgrading technology. The firm started development of technology to liquefy coal through hydro cracking since 1970s. The firm succeeded in development of hyper-coal making technology by using solvent deashing process, which was developed as a part of the liquefying technology development.

Hyper-coal process includes slurry making and dewatering, coal extraction, solid-liquid separation and solvent recovery. The process makes coal into slurry by mixing with solvent, to extract 30-70% soluble coal in 350-400 degrees of centigrade and to make hyper-coal and residue coal.

Kobe Steel expects iron making and nonferrous metals making processes can use hyper-coal with high calorie, no moisture and no ash as reducing agent. The firm expects other applications can be developed for the coal. The firm tries to develop the technology in tens of years for commercial base. The firm tries to develop the technology by using the firm’s other original technology menu on coal field and engineering technology as a part of the solutions to expand resource base.