Current Australian steel makers and iron-pellet producers have a need for technology that can be retrofitted to existing iron pellet kilns to provide the process heat with technology that can readily be made net-zero. The most prospective of these are hydrogen burners and thermal plasmas, for which no commercial solutions are readily available that can provide certainty in also maintaining product quality and achieve other emissions standards, such as NOx. Since the future relative costs of these two energy sources is unknown, and will depend on external circumstances beyond our control, there is a need for the parallel development of both options, starting with the one that has the lowest technical risk, namely hydrogen combustion. Hence there is a need for both the development and de-risking of the technology itself and of the establishment of a pilot-scale rig that would be suitable for optimisation and confirming the performance at smaller scale of preferred options as they emerge, prior to beginning any more expensive trials at commercial scale.

Current cement producers have a need to increase the penetration of alternative fuels. However, many of the potential sources are of low quality, making it difficult to utilise them without new developments. Access to relatively small quantities of hydrogen and oxygen offers the potential to significantly increase the viability of such fuels by enhancing flame stability. However, each fuel is unique and the viability of such options cannot be evaluated reliably without complex modelling, verified by experiments at sufficient scale.

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