In the projekt Bio4cupola, it was investigated if biocarbon can replace fossil coal in a cupola furnace.
In the midst of testing
There are not many cupola furnaces (a kind of blast furnace) still in use in the Nordics, they have since long been replaced by induction furnaces. Actually, the only one left is operated by Volvo in Skövde, Sweden. Outside the Nordic countries, however, they are much more common. In Germany only, there are almost a hundred, still in use.
We have so far tested a wide range of recipes in small scale in collaboration with Volvo, Envigas and Swerim, and this September a large test of 30 t briquettes were melted in Skövde. The trial looks promising and will be evaluated during the autumn. One of the challenges with biocarbon is their low density, which makes it hard to create the high-strength briquettes needed to survive long enough in the furnace. The overall goal is, of course, to replace as much of the fossil coal with biocarbon as possible.