🇫🇮 Towards carbon-neutrality – Metals producers and research organisations take the next step to develop solutions for reducing CO2 emissions

May 29, 2024
Doctoral researcher Aidin Heidari studying hydrogen reduction at the University of Oulu, kuva Mikko Törmänen.

Leading metals producers in Finland together with domestic research organizations have launched a large 3-year research project with an aim to continue the development of technologies for CO2 mitigation in metals production. The total budget of the project is 17 million euros

The co-innovation project, Towards Carbon-Neutral Metals 2, TOCANEM2, is the next step towards carbon-neutral metals production. The TOCANEM 2 project focuses on new CO2-lean and CO2-free processes and operating practices, and means to improve the energy and material efficiency of metal production through process integration and treatment of sidestreams.

The project not only takes previously identified concepts and technologies to a higher technology readiness level but also embarks on the study of new topics supporting the same overall goal of reducing the CO2 emissions of the Finnish metals industry. The project activities strongly promote Finland’s positioning as a global leader in carbon-neutral metals production. The project will not only help to reduce CO2 emissions from industrial activities but also contribute to the long-term competitiveness of the Finnish industry, and the development of a skilled pool of academic and industrial researchers.

In TOCANEM2, Boliden Harjavalta, Fortum Battery Recycling, Fortum Waste Solutions, Jervois, Metso, and Outokumpu collaborate in piloting the processes and technologies developed in collaboration with Aalto University, LUT University, University of Oulu, Technical Research Centre of Finland (VTT) and Åbo Akademi University. Coordinated by the University of Oulu, the project employs 40 researchers in the participating research organizations.

“The metal industry is the largest industrial sector in Finland. The evolution of the industry towards carbon neutrality is a major technological challenge, but at the same time it is also a great opportunity for Finnish companies. Carbon neutrality requires technological innovations and significant changes in metal processing, material flows and energy production. Emission reductions and new technological solutions will also be a major competitive factor in the global markets in the future. The co-innovation project TOCANEM 2 is in line with Business Finland’s strategy and will also contribute to achieving Finland’s carbon neutrality target”, says Ecosystem Manager Satu Penttinen.

“In TOCANEM, we determined potential technologies for CO2-lean reduction and heating processes. Now, TOCANEM 2 allows us to focus on the selected new technologies, such as hydrogen reduction and hydrogen plasma smelting reduction, and test their suitability under industrially relevant conditions. We are also enthusiastic about biocarbon. TOCANEM 2 puts us at the forefront of globally leading technology developments. Our activities have sparked a lot of international interest in our activities.”, says professor and project’s principal investigator Timo Fabritius from the University of Oulu.

Originally published on 29 May by University of Oulu.

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