Techno-economic analysis of a process for CO2-free coproduction of iron and hydrocarbon chemical products

B. Parkinson, C. Greig, E. McFarland, S. Smart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The economics of an integrated iron and hydrocarbon process utilizing molten salt electrolysis to produce 1850 kilotonnes per annum (kta) of reduced iron and 500 kta of higher hydrocarbons is presented. Capital and operating cost models based on Aspen Plus V8.6 sizing data were used to generate cash-flow and production costs for the proposed scheme. The process economics are most strongly dependent on the natural gas and electricity prices. The capital cost estimates include high contingency costs to reflect the higher investment risk for a first-of-a-kind (FOAK) process. At a carbon price of less than US $30/tCO2e, the process is competitive with traditional blast furnace smelting. Areas where a more complete understanding is needed of the barriers to the deployment of this technology are identified.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-143
Number of pages8
JournalChemical Engineering Journal
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • General Chemical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


  • Carbon price
  • Hydrocarbon conversion
  • Inorganic acid leaching
  • Iron electrolysis
  • Low COiron
  • Natural gas conversion


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