Matmor Overview

Since the advent of coke based iron production in 1709, primary iron making has relied on high-quality black coal as its reductant and heat source. The MATMOR process is positioned to revolutionise primary iron making thanks to the design of our simple, low cost, low emission, patented MATMOR retort using cheaper, alternative raw materials.

MATMOR comprises three exclusive facets:

  1. Inputs – It uses brown coal (lignite) as a reductant and heat source – no other technology can claim this
  2. Hydrogen – Matmor is dominated by a hydrogen reduction reaction, instead of the traditional carbon-based reduction reaction
  3. Plant Design – It employs our unique MATMOR retort – a vertical furnace that works with the natural chemistry of brown coal

The Process

MATMOR is a unique method for producing high-quality iron from inexpensive, abundant brown coal and iron oxide bearing material such as mill scale, nickel tailings and, of course, high or low-grade iron ore.

Stage 1: Composite Pellet Production

  • Using the Coldry Process, the raw materials are milled to <8mm, combined with a small amount of water, mixed and extruded
  • The extruded mixture is conditioned until dry-to-the-touch
  • The semi-dry pellets are conveyed into a vertical packed bed dryer, where warm air provided by waste heat is circulated through the bed of pellets, removing the evaporated moisture
  • The Composite Pellets are discharged at the base of the dryer and conveyed to the MATMOR Retort

Stage 2: MATMOR Retort

  • The Composite Pellets are charged via the top of the MATMOR Retort
  • The Retort heats the pellets in a reducing atmosphere
  • As the Composite Pellets travel down the retort, various reactions take place:
    • Gasification of the volatile matter in the lignite produces hydrocarbon gases
    • Catalytic thermal decomposition of the hydrocarbons produces hydrogen
    • Hydrogen reduces the iron oxide to iron, producing H2O or water-gas
    • Reactions within the retort result in the chemical looping of hydrogen, amplifying reduction
  • The reduced pellets are discharged at the base of the retort and contain carbon, iron and ash
  • The reduced pellets can be cooled and stored or
  • The liquid metal is discharged to an Induction Furnace where it is periodically poured to create billets

The Product

The MATMOR Process delivers a clean iron product tailored to the size/shape and carbon content requirements of the end-user. 

The MATMOR Process delivers a clean iron product tailored to the size/shape and carbon content requirements of the end-user.

Indicative Composition%
Fe98%
C1%
Other1%

The above iron was produced from the following inputs:

Iron Ore% Dry Basis
Fe67.42
SiO22.15
Ni0.03
TiO21.02
V0.37
MgO2.25
Al0.27
CaO0.80
Mn0.09
Cu0.004
P0.011
S0.057

Features & Benefits

The advantages of the MATMOR Process over traditional blast furnace iron making are:

  • Replacement of expensive metallurgical coal with cheap, abundant lignite
  • The opportunity to replace expensive high-grade Iron Ore (60%+Fe) with cheaper, low-grade Iron Ore
  • Able to recover iron from millscale and other waste materials
  • Process requires significantly less heat/energy
  • Capital cost less than traditional blast furnaces for equivalent production capacity
  • Recirculation of waste gases minimises emissions
  • Lignite, as a reductant, is more chemically reactive than the black coal currently used in traditional primary iron production.

The advantages over alternate Iron making processes are:

  • MATMOR is the only lignite-based process
  • Economic at a smaller scale
  • Lower emissions
  • Able to recover iron from waste streams such as millscale and nickel tailings

Intellectual Property

Matmor comprises two distinct operational components:

  1. The front end, or pelletisation stage, uses the Coldry process to combine low-rank coal with iron oxide bearing media and dewater the coal
  2. The Matmor Retort, a unique vertical shaft furnace that reduces the iron oxide to metal

The Matmor Retort is patented in Australia (767268) and enjoys an additional layer of protection via the Coldry Patent, in the following jurisdictions:

CountryPatent No / Patent Application NoStatus
Australia2004274520Granted
Canada2,540,285Granted
China (incl. Hong Kong)ZL200480031850.2Granted
Europe04761354.2Granted
IndiaPCT/AU2004/001319 or 1576/DELNP/2006Granted
New Zealand546098Granted
USA7992319Granted

This additional protection is due to Coldry’s role as the front-end pelletisation process. Alternative low-rank coal drying processes are neither technically suitable nor economically viable as a feedstock production solution for the Matmor Retort.

In jurisdictions without Coldry patent coverage, the Company intends to protect the Matmor IP via appropriate confidentiality and trade secret agreements.