Sunday, August 15, 2010
No. 134: Reduce carbon dioxide emissions using rare earthes (August 16, 2010)
Mitsui Mining And Smelting developed the technology to reduce carbon dioxide emissions in steel plants using rare earthes. The technology changes carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide in a chemical reaction and expected to reduce carbon dioxide generation by 8%. It utilizes cerium to make the best use of its characteristic to react easily to oxygen. It blows carbon dioxide generated inside the blast furnace to cerium to change it to carbon monoxide. Cerium is reusable and collected monoxide can be sold to resin manufacturers. The company successfully changed 97% of carbon dioxide to carbon monoxide in a small-size experiment and plans to build a small-size demonstration plant with an investment of several tens of million yen next year. Theoretically 22 tons of cerium is required to process 8% of annual carbon dioxide emissions from steel plants in Japan. Cerium is priced between 600,000 and 700,000 yen per ton. It is one of the low cost rare earthes and easily procurable.