An American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) project proposal to be conducted in collaboration with the University of Utah has been selected by the Department of Energy’s Innovative Manufacturing Initiative for a $7.1 million award. The project seeks to develop a new iron-making process based on the direct gaseous reduction of fine iron concentrates. The new process aims to reduce the energy needed to make iron while reducing environmental emissions, especially carbon dioxide, by up to 50%. The DOE described the projects selected for award as vehicles “to advance transformational technologies and materials that can help American manufacturers dramatically increase the energy efficiency of their operations and reduce costs.”            

The total project budget is $8.9 million over three years from the date of the award, with 80% cost sharing to be provided by the DOE and the balance ($1.8 million) by AISI members. “The development of new steelmaking technology is critical to maintaining the domestic steel industry’s global competitiveness and improving its energy efficiency,” said Congressman Pete Visclosky. The project was one of 13 selected out of more than 1,400 letters of intent, 1,200 concept papers and over 250 full applications that the DOE evaluated.