ICSS researchers are helping HBIS become the most competitive and sustainable steel company.

Here are a few examples of our projects. For more information about them, please send your enquiry to admin-icss@uq.edu.au.

Electrochemical Conversion of CO2 to Formic Acid

To reduce the negative impacts of CO2 emissions from steel-making plants, the researchers of this ARC Linkage project are investigating ways to convert CO2 to another chemical so that some or all of the costs of the capture can be recovered. For example, they are developing new catalytic electrode materials and improved electrolysis cell designs which may also scale up appropriately for coal-fired electrical power plants and other manufacturing processes.

Full-chain Process for Integrated CO2 Capture, Utilisation and Storage

The research team is developing a new process for producing clean energy and/or reusable chemicals by converting flue gas to value-added chemicals. By incorporating Hesteel’s existing CO2 capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technologies as gas-to-liquid (GTL) and electrochemical reduction of CO2 to Formic acid (ECFORM), the new process aims to scale practical, ‘green’ technologies that will deliver measurable economic, social and environmental outcomes.

Controlling the Quality of Large Ocean Steel Plates

Some thick ocean steel plates made from low carbon-low alloy steels are known to have unsatisfactory mechanical properties at half thickness after heat treatment, and/or a pitted surface finish after rolling. The researchers are working on ways to optimise the heat treatment to reduce defects while increasing the production rate and saving on heating power costs. This includes experimenting with lubricants and adjusting the chemical composition of the scales that are responsible for surface defects.

Stronger Offshore Structural Steels

Marine engineering steels with high strength, thickness and corrosion resistance are the main raw materials used in building ships and offshore platforms. This project is developing a novel oxide metallurgy of offshore steels for high-heat input welding at Hesteel. The researchers are refining the microstructures of base metals to improve the mechanical properties of high-heat input welding joints.

Producing Advanced High Strength Steels for Safe, Economic Cars

Steel makers, car manufacturers and research teams are working together to develop new high-strength steels that reduce the body weight of a motor vehicle without sacrificing its safety. Lighter weight vehicles are expected to improve petrol consumption and reduce air pollution. The researchers are working on new roll-forming methods to understand how to optimise materials performance and reduce the environmental and economic impact of defects generated in the forming process.

Low-emission iron and steelmaking using hydrogen to pre-reduce lump ore

This project aims to develop and apply a new route of lump iron ore pre-reduction with hydrogen or H2-enriched gases for ironmaking to minimise CO2 emissions from steel production. The route will be built on the base of the H2 reduction kinetics of iron ore and with novel technologies such as CO2 recycling and H2-heating using hot blast, underpinning the hydrogen economy by addressing the environmental concerns in mineral and steel industries. It is not only significant for low-carbon steel production, but also for a better fundamental understanding to develop future zero-emission iron and steelmaking with hydrogen.

Developing high-performance nanocomposite coatings for domestic appliances

Insufficient robustness and durability of the polymeric coatings on precoated metal sheets have resulted in unacceptably high product defects and reject rates. This project aims to develop novel and high-performance nanocomposite multilayer coatings through the systematic optimisation of epoxy and polyester/ graphene and nano clay systems. These complex coatings are expected to have considerably improved toughness, hardness and interfacial adhesion, thus enhancing the formability and wear resistance of precoated metal sheets. Successful outcomes from this study will not only solve a long-standing problem in the manufacturing of precoated metals but generate breakthrough technologies for next-generation nanocomposite coatings.

New Safe and Reliable Energy Storage and Conversion Technologies

This Research Hub addresses safety and reliability issues, and the environmental impact of current energy storage and conversion technologies. The research will deliver a new generation of technologies for storage from small-scale portable devices to large-scale industrial applications, using recycled and natural materials, and eliminating the serious fire risk in current technologies. Outcomes include innovative integrated energy conversion and storage technologies and new energy materials and devices designed for different scale applications, leading to the creation of start-up companies and commercialisation opportunities for existing partners, benefiting both the Australian economy and potentially transforming the energy industry landscape.

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Please contact us for more information on how you can engage with ICSS.