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The challenge

Lowering emissions and increasing competitiveness

Male researcher, Jason Donnelly, wearing helmet, safety glasses and white lab coat, standing in front of Dry slag granulation rig.
CSIRO researcher standing in front of a dry slag granulation rig.

Metal production has high energy demand, and in the next 15 years the competition for energy and rising energy costs are likely to have a significant impact on the profitability of metal production.

Yet, material demands of growing world population continue to increase the demand for metals.

Wastes and emissions from metal production processes add to environmental pressures, but also equate to productivity or efficiency losses for companies.

Reducing waste, carbon emissions, energy and water usage is a challenge faced by Australian industry and companies across the world.

New practices, technologies and governance are required to reduce the environmental impact of metal production while ensuring companies are globally competitive.

Our response

Increasing process efficiencies

By applying our strengths in process science and engineering, and mathematical, environmental and social sciences, we are addressing these challenges with new efficient process solutions.

New efficient, cost-effective production processes will help create new Australian metal industries.

We are improving efficiencies of current processes, while creating entirely new processes that are more efficient, productive and competitive. We are helping to pave the way for new resource development and new metal industries for Australia with new processes that make previously uneconomic mineral resources and metals viable to produce.

Our track record includes:

  • integrated technology for 'green' steelmaking that focuses on energy, waste, water and environmental performance
  • cost-effective, low emission smelting technology contributing to 30 per cent of global copper, tin and platinum output
  • safe, cost-effective and environmentally friendly production processes for light metals such as titanium and magnesium
  • extensive CFD modelling used to accelerate process optimisation and minimise risk.

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