This project, BioCarbUp – Optimising the biocarbon value chain for sustainable mettalurgical industry, is a large Norwegian project focussing on biochar as a replacement for fossil carbon carriers in the metallurgical industry. The project is a continuation of BioCarb+, which was running from 2014 to 2017.


The metallurgical industry in Norway seeks to substitute large amounts of biocarbon for fossil reductants in their processes. The Norwegian Process Industry Roadmap – Combining growth and zero emissions by 2050, and Industrimeldingen lay the foundation for an accelerated utilization of Norwegian biomass resources that would reduce the CO2 footprint of the metallurgical industry. The former document targets a 43% reduction of CO2 by 2030 compared to 2005 levels.

To enable this transformation, the whole biocarbon (BC) value chain for the metallurgical industry must be optimized to remove economic constraints, satisfy reductant quality demands, and develop predictable (amount, quality and price), long-term biomass resource demand.

This project responds to the national strategies and the goals of the metallurgical industry by analyzing and optimizing the BC value chain to produce suitable and affordable reductants in a sustainable manner.

Producing BC, a renewable material from biomass resources, will have a twofold effect: (1) reduce CO2 emissions by substituting for fossil reductants and (2) increase forest resource utilisation by creating higher value material and/or energy products. Due to the BC quality demanded by the metallurgical processes, woody biomass, especially stem wood, is the most suitable candidate for reductant feedstock.

The overall objective of this project is to optimize the biocarbon value chain for the metallurgical industry through:

  1. Production of biocarbon with sufficient quality satisfying the end user quality requirements while ensuring optimum utilization of the by-products.
  2. Optimized sourcing of Norwegian forest resources for biocarbon production towards the specific metallurgical processes.
  3. Maximizing the energy and cost efficiency of the biocarbon value chain for the metallurgical industry.
Project Profile

Name: BioCarbUp – Optimising the biocarbon value chain for sustainable metallurgical industry


Partners: SINTEF Energy Research (lead), SINTEF Industry, Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Dpt. Energy and Process Engineering, Dpt. Materials Science and Engineering), Norwegian Institute of Bioeconomy Research, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute at University of Hawaii at Manoa, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Norsk Biobrensel AS, Elkem AS, Department Elkem Technology, Eramet Norway AS, Hydro Aluminium AS, Alcoa Norway ANS, Eyde Cluster

Duration: April 2018 – December 2021

Total Budget: ca. 25 000 000 NOK

Funding Framework: Research Council of Norway and Industrial Partners