A Comprehensive Review of Secondary Carbon Bio-Carriers for Application in Metallurgical Processes: Utilization of Torrefied Biomass in Steel Production

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


  • Carlo Brondi
  • Davide Rovelli
  • Thomas Echterhof
  • Filippo Cirilli
  • Christoph M. Thaler
  • Nils Jaeger
  • Delphine Snaet
  • Klaus Peters
  • Valentina Colla

Organisational units

External Organisational units

  • K1-MET GmbH; Stahlstraße 14; Linz, 4020, Austria
  • ISMAC Genova
  • RWTH Aachen
  • Rina Consulting-Centro Sviluppo Materiali S.p.A
  • voestalpine Stahl Linz GmbH
  • ThyssenKrupp Steel Europe AG
  • European Steel Technology Platform ASBL
  • Center ICT for Complex Industrial Systems and Processes


This review aims to show the significance of the use of secondary carbon bio-carriers for iron and steel production. The term ‘secondary carbon bio-carriers’ in this review paper refers to biomass, torrefied biomass, biochar, charcoal, or biocoke. The main focus is on torrefied biomass, which can act as a carbon source for partial or complete replacement of fossil fuel in various metallurgical processes. The material requirements for the use of secondary carbon bio-carriers in different metallurgical processes are systematized, and pathways for the use of secondary carbon bio-carriers in four main routes of steel production are described; namely, blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace (BF/BOF), melting of scrap in electric arc furnace (scrap/EAF), direct reduced iron/electric arc furnace (DRI/EAF), and smelting reduction/basic oxygen furnace (SR/BOF). In addition, there is also a focus on the use of secondary carbon bio-carriers in a submerged arc furnace (SAF) for ferroalloy production. The issue of using secondary carbon bio-carriers is specific and individual, depending on the chosen process. However, the most promising ways to use secondary carbon bio-carriers are determined in scrap/EAF, DRI/EAF, SR/BOF, and SAF. Finally, the main priority of future research is the establishment of optimal parameters, material quantities, and qualities for using secondary carbon bio-carriers in metallurgical processes.


Original languageEnglish
Article number2005
Number of pages38
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2022