What is Metallurgical Char?

Pyrolysis is a process of converting organic waste into a solid, carbon-rich material known as biochar. Biochar has gained recognition for its ability to improve soil health, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and sequester carbon. However, the process of producing biochar can also result in the production of a higher-value, carbon-rich material known as Metallurgic Char (MC).

In this article, we will explore the technical process behind the production of MC and its unique properties that make it an attractive alternative to traditional metallurgical coal. We will also discuss the environmental benefits of using MC in the steelmaking industry, and the potential impact it could have on reducing carbon emissions.

The Process of Producing Metallurgic Char

At the core of the process of producing MC is the conversion of organic biowaste into biochar. This is achieved through pyrolysis, a thermal decomposition process that occurs in the absence of oxygen. The organic material is heated to high temperatures, typically in the range of 400-800°C, which causes the decomposition of the organic material into a carbon-rich char and volatile gases.

Pyrochar’s patented process for producing MC is designed to optimize the carbon content and porosity of the resulting char. The process involves controlling the temperature, residence time, and cooling rate to produce a char with a specific set of properties that make it an ideal alternative to traditional metallurgical coal.

The Use of Metallurgic Char in Steelmaking

MC has been developed as a cost-effective replacement for a portion of traditional coal in both blast furnace and electric arc furnace steelmaking processes. The use of MC as a replacement for traditional coal can reduce the carbon footprint of steel production and provide a carbon-negative alternative.

MC has the same density and combustion point as traditional metallurgical coal, making it a viable option for use in the steelmaking industry. In addition, the high carbon content of MC makes it an ideal fuel for the production of hot metal in blast furnaces. The use of MC can result in a reduction in the amount of traditional coal required to produce the same amount of hot metal, reducing the carbon footprint of steel production.

The Environmental Benefits of Using Metallurgic Char

The use of MC in steelmaking offers a number of environmental benefits, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. MC is considered carbon negative when used in steel production, meaning that the process of using MC to produce hot metal results in a net reduction of carbon dioxide emissions compared to using traditional coal.

In addition, the production of MC from organic biowaste diverts waste from landfills, reducing the production of methane, a potent greenhouse gas, and improving the management of organic waste. The carbon sequestration potential of MC also provides a long-term benefit, as the carbon in the char is stored for centuries to millennia, reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.


MC is a carbon-rich material produced through the pyrolysis of organic biowaste. Its unique properties make it an attractive alternative to traditional metallurgical coal in the steelmaking industry, offering a cost-effective and environmentally beneficial solution. The use of MC in steel production can result in a reduction in carbon emissions and the diversion of waste from landfills, providing a valuable contribution to the sustainability of the steelmaking industry.