Coolbrook industrial heat milestone advances cement, steel electrification

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Sources: Coolbrook Oy, Helsinki; CMCM staff

Coolbrook reports success in the first phase of large-scale pilot RotoDynamic Heater (RDH) pilot tests, attaining a level of 1,000°C on a pathway toward a 1,700°C threshold equal to decarbonizing high-temperature iron, steel and cement processes by replacing fossil fuel combustion with electricity. With backing from global steel and cement operators ArcelorMittal and Cemex, Coolbrook began the pilot earlier this year. A second phase will entail the RotoDynamic Reactor (RDR), suiting petrochemical process-level heat. 

Deployment of RDH and RDR in commercial, renewable energy-powered versions that Coolbrook officials envision for 2024-2025 would have the potential for annual reduction of up to 2.4 billion tons or 7 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. “Sharing our partners’ and customers’ sense of urgency to achieve net zero, we take determined actions to execute our strategy and progress towards the commercial launch of our electric technology,” says Coolbrook CEO Joonas Rauramo. “We are proceeding with first commercial agreements while continuing to build our organization and supply chain for industrial scale operations.”

RotoDynamic Heater proves capacity for industrial heat generation in a lab on The Netherlands’ Brightlands Chemelot Campus.

“RotoDynamic Technology is probably the most innovative application of turbomachinery after its application in gas turbine engine as aviation power,” note Oxford University’s Dr. Budimir Rosic and Cambridge University veteran Dr. Liping Xu. “It is set to bring forth a fundamental and revolutionary impact on high-temperature industries for greenhouse gas reduction. For the first time, it is shown that by using renewably-powered RDR and RDH, it is possible to completely decarbonize the highest-emitting industries which have been labelled as ‘hard-to-abate’.”

“Effective electric technology for decarbonization is here and readily available,” adds Coolbrook Executive Chairman Ilpo Kuokkanen. “Now, leadership must be fully applied to implement the technology at scale. Fortunately, our partner ecosystem already consists of the most forward-looking cement, steel, and petrochemical producers, technology providers, academics, and political decision makers. Working seamlessly together, we can make a real difference and start a clean new industrial era.”

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