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Materials Processing Institute leads new green steelmaking venture

A research and innovation centre is spearheading £270,000 environmental work it says could “potentially revive the UK steel industry.”

The Materials Processing Institute is leading a project to replace coke and fossil fuels in iron furnaces with hydrogen and electricity.

Bosses say the venture – named H2DRI – will develop national pilot production bases to push forward green steelmaking.

Part of the Government’s Net Zero Innovation Portfolio Industrial Fuel Switching Competition, the institute is working alongside Teesside University, C-Tech Innovation, the Steel and Metals Institute at Swansea University and global metals and mining company Rio Tinto.

The group is also collaborating with industrial operators that include ironmakers, steelmakers and supply chain businesses.

Chris McDonald, chief executive at the Materials Processing Institute, which is based on the outskirts of Middlesbrough, said: “With demand outstripping the availability of steel to recycle, it is critical we transition quickly towards greener methods of production.

“I’m proud the institute has been selected to lead this ground-breaking project that could potentially revive the UK steel industry.”

Dr Venkatesan Krishnan, senior lecturer in chemical engineering and team member of the Tees Valley Hydrogen Innovation Project at Teesside University, added: “Forging a smarter, greener industrial economy is a key feature of our research strategy.

“We are delighted to be able to use our expertise to help an industry like steelmaking, which has such a rich and varied history on Teesside, transition to a greener and more sustainable means of production.”