Tata Steel has acquired a new smelter technology and its intellectual property rights from Rio Tinto, one of the leading global iron ore mining companies, for an undisclosed amount.

The newly acquired technology along with Tata Steel's existing innovative Hlsarna technology has the potential to reduce use of energy and carbon emissions by at least 20 per cent and bring down steel-making cost through use of lower priced raw materials, including steel scrap.

Tata Steel has tested the HIsarna technology at its IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands. HIsarna consists of a reactor into which iron ore is inserted from the top. The ore is liquefied in a high-temperature cyclone and drips to the bottom of the reactor. When powdered coal is injected into the reactor, it combines with the molten ore to produce pure liquid iron and CO 2 (carbon dioxide).

This technology removes a number of pre-processing steps resulting in significant efficiency gains.

The pure CO 2 produced through in HIsarna installation can be captured and stored for reuse.

This process will cut CO 2 requirement by 80 per cent and lead to cost saving, besides substantially reducing emissions of fine particles, sulphur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.

TV Narendran, Managing Director, Tata Steel, said the acquisition of full intellectual property rights for Hlsarna, is a significant step towards establishing Tata Steel's pioneering credentials in the steel manufacturing space and ensuring long term sustainability of the business.

Reduction in use of energy and carbon emissions is a challenge for the steel industry and the Hlsarna technology could play a role to achieve a circular economy with zero waste, he said.