Optimization at gasification plant


Höganäs is one of the world’s largest producers of metal powder used in vehicle components, among other things. The Instalco Company, App Start-Up, has been involved in efforts to optimize operations at a gasification plant that produces pure energy gas for metal powder production.

A large quantity of iron and metal powder is produced each year at the Höganäs plant on Kullahalvön. It is used for manufacturing vehicle components, electric motors and welding materials. Höganäs has its own process for metal powder production. It involves reducing the iron ore to pure iron with coal at high temperature using heat created by the combustion of gas.

Thus far, natural gas has been used in the combustion process, causing unwanted emissions. Now, Cortus Energy has come up with a way of producing “green” energy gas (syngas), which is pure and renewable. Energy gas is created through gasification of biomass, in the form of wood chips.

The process has been tested on a small scale at a plant in Köping, which has now been scaled up and tested on an industrial scale at the Höganäs plant. The Instalco company, App Start-Up helped with thecommissioning and technical support at both facilities.

“Our part in this unique project was to assist with optimization, adjustments and commissioning. In other words helping to make sure that all parts of the process were compatible and worked. It’s a process with many steps, such as how to dry the wood chips, to how to generate the energy gas and then how to achieve combustion of the gas in a way that generates the right temperature for the metal powder at Höganäs,” says Johan Löfström, Process Engineer at App Start-Up.

“At the Cortus facility at Höganäs, we engaged App Start-Up to help evaluate, improve and optimize operations of a new WoodRoll gasifier. Once completed, the plant will be able to produce 6 MW of pure energy gas for Höganäs and replace the natural gas that has thus far been used in their processes. At full capacity, it will lower the CO2 emissions by 10,000 tonnes per year,” says Rolf Ljunggren, Founder and Deputy CEO at Cortus Energi.

App Start-Up is a consulting company focused on the energy sector. It is specialized in project implementation and the commissioning of energy plants. App Start-Up offers services in the areas of automation, electricity design, electrical power, process control and instrumentation.