Columbia University – Baotou Steel Group


The ultimate goal of this partnership is zero-waste via the comprehensive utilization of iron and steel slags with added potential benefits of: reducing the land for the stockpile or landfill of the iron and steel slags; reducing the carbon emission of the iron and steel industries; converting the waste into valuable feedstocks and products for several other cross-industries; and maximizing the overall sustainability of the iron and steel industry in terms of the environmental and economic impacts.

Key Accomplishments:

In October 2016, a lab demonstration unit to repurpose iron and steel slag was commissioned at Columbia University with a target annual capacity of 10 metric tons of slag per year.

In December 2016, Baotou Steel Group delegates visited Columbia University to observe the operation of the demonstration unit and to assess generated products. Baotou Steel Group and Columbia University teams also discussed the plan for the next pilot scale project to be performed at Baotou Steel Group in China.

On May 25, 2017, at the Columbia Global Center in Beijing, a joint venture (JV) between GreenOre CleanTech LLC and Baotou Steel Group was established. The U.S. Government (USG) assistance facilitated the smooth establishment of the JV and business operation with the Chinese state-owned company. A media event was conducted for major U.S. and Chinese news outlets (Bloomberg, Associated Press, Wall Street Journal, People’s Daily, etc.) to advance the EcoPartnership between Columbia Engineering and China’s Baotou Iron and Steel (Group) Co. Please visit here for the full story.  

Baotou Steel Group and GreenOre CleanTech Co., Ltd., a Columbia University spin-off startup founded in 2016, officially registered as a JV at the Chinese local Department of Commerce in January 2018, with the pilot plant funding fully available.

The JV team formed by core members from both Baotou Steel and Columbia University designed and constructed a pilot plant with a main reactor of 10 cubic meters. The pilot plant was completed in January 2019.

By April 2020, Baotou Steel and Greenore Cleantech L.L.C. demonstrated the technology, with a capacity of 680-6,800 metric tonne slag/year carbonation. The technology demonstration validated the potential economic feasibility of further technology scale-up to the commercialization level.

The EcoPatnership has mobilized $270,000 from the Korean Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning (KETEP) Mission Innovation 2019-2021 to continue to develop and demonstrate the technology.

Work Plan: 
Task 1. Conduct Lab-Scale Demonstration
Design, construct and operate a lab-scale demonstration unit for carbon mineralization with Baogang slags at Columbia University by June 2016.
Task 2. Conduct Pilot-Scale Demonstration
Scale-up the slag processing unit to 0.5 megaton of slags per year and complete the construction at Baotou Steel by December 2017.
Task 3. Initiate Full-Capacity Operation
Full-capacity operation of the 0.5 megaton processing unit at Baotou Steel site by December 2018.