Manufacturing and Selling Industrial-Grade Carbon Dioxide

By W. James O’Brien, W. James O’Brien Associates Industrial Cost Analysis Services
© American Coal Online
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CO2 Carbon Dioxide

The unifying element in this opportunity is the co-location of the unit in a manner that addresses local market needs and then leverages further sales outside of local markets. The capture and compressor units should be located adjacent to the power plant’s railhead to facilitate the loading of compressed-gas trucks and compressed-gas railcars.

Other major users of industrial carbon dioxide

Steel mill furnace manufacturers are major users of carbon dioxide for various processes, including on-site fuel generation for their crucible needs. Steel mill co-location near coal-fueled power plants was, and remains, the primary strategy for economic success for iron reduction and steel refining. It therefore does not take more than due-diligence feasibility studies, and appropriate industrial planning, to persuade these ferrous metals processors, as well as metal recycling operations, which use electric arc furnaces, to invest in siting their plants adjacent to a coal plant.

In this way the ferrous metals processors would “foot the bill” without requiring utilities to go into the steel and fuel processing business. As long as coal-fueled generation plants could provide pipelined CO2, these ferrous refiners would persist as stable long-term customers. A 30- to 50-percent reduction in their present fuel costs would be routinely realized, even if they only transformed CO2 into carbon monoxide and hydrogen using waste heat from their furnace crucibles – a technique as old as the first Bessemer converter, the first of which was built and operational in the U.S. in Wyandotte, Mich. in 1858.

Further information is available on:

  • The direct reduction of iron, using CO2 off-gases created from the HYL III proprietary process and how the furnace itself makes fuel from that CO2 through recuperation. Several other processes do this as well; Midrex and COREX processes are but two of nearly a dozen.
  • The Linde Gases REBOX oxyfuel rotary hearth furnace burner, which likewise takes CO2 from its process off-gases and recycles those gases to provide a 35- to 50-percent improvement in natural gas burner efficiency. In particular, note the illustration on page 3 of the Linde Gases REBOX article, where the CO2 with steam is re-injected into the combustor and the narrative as to how the water gas shift converts the CO2 + steam into CH4 which is then combusted again. Over 120 installations of these furnace burners are operational worldwide.

Firms such as:

  • The Rose Corporation (http://www.therosecorp.com/industrial.lasso), one of America’sSay No to CO2 premier manufacturers of iron and steel refining furnaces, can provide expert guidance for potential co-location ferrous metal processor candidates
  • Epcon Industrial Systems (http://www.epconlp.com/) is a firm of impeccable reputation with several patents to its name exactly in the technology area of recycling gases for improving steel and other metals’ furnace efficiency improvement requirements. They, too, are experts on the recycling of CO2-rich furnace off-gases back into the burners of the ferrous furnace hearths
  • Glex Inc. (http://glexinc.com/projects.html) has already made dozens of CO2 capture units, on a custom basis, in service to the natural gas processing industry. Several dozen other firms in the Houston, Texas area have similar capabilities.

Implementing this strategy would satisfy any and all present and future U.S. EPA greenhouse gas reduction requirements while improving a power plant’s coal- (or natural gas- or biomass-) fired bottom line. Furthermore, this strategy can be implemented using standardized, standards-driven safe and proven designs. Perhaps the single most attractive aspect of this concept is that it will not require a single penny of government subsidy. It relies instead on the creative abilities and free markets available to the American coal industry.

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