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International Iron Carbide LLC
Iron making technology to revolutionize steelmaking


Production Cost

The production cost is based primarily on the cost of iron ore, natural gas, and electricity.

Economic Performance

A primary benefit of iron carbide is its ability to enable steelmakers to produce and sell higher grade steels at much higher premiums. This is what attracted Nucor, Qualitech Steel, Mitsubishi, and other companies to license the technology.

However, the benefits of iron carbide do not end there. Iron carbide produces unsurpassed cost savings. Although the direct production cost for iron carbide is similar to DRI, iron carbide imparts large savings to electric arc furnaces (EAFs) and basic oxygen furnaces (BOFs), yielding savings of up to $100/mt of steel.

Even larger savings are available to take iron carbide directly to steel in a new smelting process that could replace the conventional blast furnace (BF) to basic oxygen furnace (BOF) route.

You can imagine the additional revenue and savings, if producing a large quantity of steel.  For a large steel producer, the revenue and savings gains can be billions of dollars.

Operating Cost and Capital Estimates

Plant Drawings

Environmental Performance

Iron carbide offers a compelling message regarding sustainability and environmental responsibility. The process offers a route to achieve the lowest carbon emission of all virgin-iron steelmaking processes, producing only 1.09 kg of carbon dioxide for each kg of steel produced, versus 2.01 kg for the conventional blast furnace to BOF technology and over 3 kg for coal based DRI and close to 2 kg for natural gas based DRI. Only steel totally made from scrap achieves a lower emission; and this is only possible when producing the lowest grades of steel or when using very expensive scrap.

Iron carbide is also the most environmentally favorable DRI addition for EAFs (achieving only 0.98 kg carbon dioxide emission).

Sustainable Development

Other sustainable development attributes include: iron carbide’s ability to provide an efficient and safe means to ship energy from regions where natural gas is abundant to parts of the world short on energy. This can provide environmental, social, and economic benefits to both developing countries and to more advanced economies.

Iron carbide improves the utilization of existing steelmaking capacity, minimizes capital, lowers operating cost, and is non-disruptive to the social fabric of communities where it operates.

These attributes support the Brundtland Commission’s definition of sustainability.