MUNICH, May 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
- Joo Sanghoon & team nominated for European "Technology Oscar"
- Honouring invention of more energy efficient and cleaner way to smelt steel
- Method speeds up smelting and eliminates need for high-quality coal
- Reduces hot metal production costs by approx. 15% per ton
- "Finex" method developed for Korean steelmaker Posco and Siemens VAI
- "Invention demonstrates that established industries can still be improved substantially in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability" said Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office
Korean scientist and metallurgist Sanghoon Joo of POSCO, who developed a new energy efficient, cleaner and faster method of producing steel, has been nominated for the European Inventor Award 2013. The award is Europe's most important prize for innovation and is presented annually by the European Patent Office (EPO) to outstanding innovators in five categories for their contributions to technological, social and economic progress.
Joo Sanghoon has been nominated in the category "Non-European Countries", together with his team consisting of Shin Myoungkyun, also of POSCO, and Andreas Schmidt from Siemens VAI, Austria. There are two further nominations in the same category: US inventors Joseph M. Jacobson and Barrett Comiskey of the MIT have been nominated for inventing the e-ink technology for electronic readers and e-books, while Intel's Ajay V. Bhatt, also from the US, was selected for the invention of the Universal Serial Bus (USB) computer connection interface. The 2013 winners in all categories will be announced at a ceremony in Amsterdam on 28 May in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands.
Joo's achievement: Making steel manufacturing more energy efficient
"Mr Joo's invention demonstrates impressively that innovation can happen also in what think of as old industries, in this case making steel manufacturing more energy efficient and thereby more sustainable," said Benoît Battistelli, President of the European Patent Office, at the announcement of the nominations.
FINEX: Redefining modern steel production
The honoured invention, also known as FINEX, allows for a cheaper, faster and cleaner way to smelt steel. In a field responsible for 27% of industrial CO2 emissions and 5% of all man-made greenhouse gases, this method for reducing molten iron conserves finite natural resources and reduces air pollution.
Smelting is an important step of steel production that allows extracting an elemental metal, such as iron, from its ore. This is usually achieved by combining purified coal, or "coke", with the ore in a blast furnace and letting the resulting chemical reaction decompose the ore until only usable metal is left. The new method speeds up the smelting process and eliminates the need for the expensive, high-quality coal that makes up only 15% of global coal reserves, instead using more plentiful, low-grade coal.
Korean steelmaker POSCO teamed up with Siemens VAI of Austria
The sheer amount of 1.5 billion metric tons of steel produced every year means that even the slightest change in production can have significant impact. With that in mind, Korean steelmaker POSCO teamed up with Siemens VAI of Austria, tasking Joo Sanghoon, Shin Myoungkyun, and Andreas Schmidt with conceiving a way to streamline the smelting process. Together they developed FINEX.
For more details about the European Inventor Award 2013 please visit http://www.epo-presschannel.com.
European Patent Office
Shepard Fox Communications
SOURCE European Patent Office (EPO)