This iron maker will use sugar beets, not coal

A new green technology that will produce 100,000 metric tons of iron nuggets per year has been given a green light.

Carbontec Energy Corp. is going to use the residue left behind from sugar beets, wood chips and other biomass to make iron ore in Jamestown, North Dakota.

The company says that is the technology ". . . could substantially reduce the CO2, SOx, NOx and mercury emissions that are related to coke oven and blast furnace pig iron production, worldwide."

The first phase of the project will cost $60 million to build. Expected annual revenue is $50 million. The new manufacturing plant will be 80,000 square feet and will open next year.

The company eventually expects to expand to 300,000 tons per year.

The nuggets will be 95-96% iron.

The company, which has patented the process, says it took five years of research. John Simmons, chairman of Carbontec Energy Corporation, says the process is carbon neutral since the plant uses biomass instead of coal.

The plant will use iron ore concentrate from northern Minnesota.