The need for sustainable metallurgy
Countless materials used in our modern societies are produced thanks to metallurgical processes. From the production of silicon metal to the manufacturing of ferroalloys and ferrous metals, the complex operations carried out daily in metallurgical plants around the world require colossal amounts of energy and carbon. Such activities can come at a great environmental cost and place the metallurgy-related industries very high on the list of the most polluting sectors, given that in some operations, such as silicon and alloys production, no alternatives exist for fossil-derived carbon materials.
Metallurgical operations are often considered difficult to decarbonize. Yet, solutions to lower the CO2 footprint of these operations have to be found if we want to mitigate climate change. The SOLER Group actively works towards developing solutions for more sustainable metallurgy processes by tapping into the fields where limited alternatives exist. In doing so, we help pave the way to a faster transition towards a low-carbon economy.
The SOLER Group works towards solutions for more sustainable metallurgy by tapping into the fields where limited alternatives exist.
Sustainable metallurgical grade silicon
Metallurgical grade silicon (MG-Si) is an essential component of many technologies instrumental in the fight against climate change, such as photovoltaic panels or the electronic micro-chips used in smart grids. Following the shift towards green technologies, the demand for metallurgical grade silicon has been steadily increasing in recent decades. As a result, the ecological footprint of this carbon-intensive activity is rising at a proportional pace. Transitioning to a low-carbon economy will require new ways of producing sustainable metallurgical grade silicon.
A large part of the emissions resulting from silicon metals is related to the carbothermic reduction taking place in electric arc furnaces. In a process similar to iron and steel metallurgical operations, a carbon source is needed to capture the oxygen from the quartz, allowing pure material extraction. The SOLER Group biocarbon made from renewable resources brings a solution to displace fossil fuels and help in achieving the carbon-neutral production of silicon.
Metallurgical grade silicon (MG-Si) is essential for the photovoltaic panels. The biocarbon brings a solution for its carbon-neutral production.
Decarbonization of the iron and steel industry
Materials such as iron and steel are the backbone of modern civilization. Due to the energy-intensive metallurgical processes involved, however, the sector is often considered as one of the largest contributors to global greenhouse gas emissions.
Many technological improvements have been made in the past, including the increasing adoption of hydrogen as an agent for iron ore reduction, which has a great potential to reduce the sector’s ecological footprint. On the other hand, some parts of the steel manufacturing process, where carbon cannot be fully substituted, remain a challenge for industrial decarbonization.
By delivering biocarbon, the SOLER Group thus contributes to the decarbonization of steel and iron production.
A most promising journey
No doubt, the reduction of fossil carbon consumption in metallurgy-related industries is a key step on the path towards sustainability and carbon neutrality. The SOLER Group’s biocarbon is made to help industries to transition to a greener world.