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Michael Buckley 

Manager -Steel Decarbonisation / BioIron Technical Manager



As a materials engineer,  Michael has  spent his career focusing on the high-temperature processes by which iron ore is converted into iron and steel


Driving the decarbonisation of steel making 


Rio Tinto is advancing efforts to decarbonize the steel industry with its innovative BioIron Research and Development Facility in Western Australia.

Located in the Rockingham Strategic Industrial Area near the Pilbara iron ore region, this facility will utilize raw biomass and microwave energy, instead of coal, to convert iron ore into metallic iron.


Michael Buckley, Rio Tinto’s technical manager for steel decarbonisation and BioIron, emphasizes the necessity of diverse technologies—including hydrogen, biomass, and potentially electrolysis—to achieve steel industry decarbonization, which accounts for 8% of global emissions.

The BioIron process, developed in partnership with the University of Nottingham and Metso, has shown promise in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The new facility will be significantly larger than its pilot predecessor and will require substantial amounts of biomass.

Rio Tinto is collaborating with local civil society organizations to sustainably source this biomass from agricultural by-products like wheat and barley. Michael Buckley will highlight the facility's efficiency, stating it would use about a third of the electricity required for green hydrogen-based processes due to the energy contribution from biomass.

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