CSIRO and Swinburne form green steel partnership

Friday, 02 February, 2024

CSIRO and Swinburne form green steel partnership

CSIRO will partner with Swinburne University of Technology to propel research and development into green steel and mineral processing.

The ‘Sustainable Mineral Processing and Green Steel Program’ partnership aims to address key net zero challenges for the mineral resources industry, including developing low-carbon routes for iron, steel and critical metals, as well as improving recycling technologies.

“Swinburne is thrilled to be working with CSIRO on another program, this time using our combined strength in decarbonisation and green steel. The university has a longstanding relationship with CSIRO, linking world-class capability across a vast range of strategic research areas,” said Swinburne Chief Scientist Professor Virginia Kilborn.

“Green steel makes up a key part of Swinburne’s flagship research area ‘Innovative Planet’. This partnership is another active step taken by Swinburne towards global decarbonisation to achieve net zero.”

Swinburne’s Professor Geoffrey Brooks, who won the Bessemer Gold Medal in 2023 for his contributions to more sustainable steelmaking, will be appointed Chair of the partnership. CSIRO’s Process Decarbonisation Research Group Leader Keith Vining will have overall responsibility for managing CSIRO’s research into sustaining Australia’s iron ore and improving the processes for enhanced productivity and environmental performance.

CSIRO’s Dr Suneeti Purohit, a Swinburne PhD graduate, recipient of the Exceptional Woman in Victorian Resources 2023 Award and Net Zero Industries Young Talent Award 2023, will bring her expertise on steelmaking using solar power to the program, while Swinburne’s Professor Akbar Rhamdhani, an expert in sustainable processing, will also play a key role.

As part of its Net Zero 2025 Pathways, Swinburne has invested in researchers from minerals characterisation, minerals processing, pyrometallurgy and materials recycling. This strong research base will be coupled with CSIRO’s extensive minerals research and development expertise.

“To support decarbonisation efforts within the minerals industry we need new R&D partnerships that bring together complementary capabilities. We have partnered well in this field with Swinburne for many years but have jointly decided that the time is right to amplify our intent and efforts,” Vining said.

The program will also provide a platform for international conferences and industry courses, as well as opportunities for students via scholarships, joint final year projects and work experience programs.

Image credit: iStock.com/Reinhard Krull

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