The issues of energy consumption and CO2
emissions of major ironmaking processes, including several new technologies, are assessed. These two issues are interconnected in that the production and use of fuels to generate energy add to the total amount of CO2
emissions and the efforts to sequester or convert CO2
require energy. The amounts of emissions and energy consumption in alternate ironmaking processes are compared with those for the blast furnace, currently the dominant ironmaking process. Although more than 90% of iron production is currently through the blast furnace, intense efforts are devoted to developing alternative technologies. Recent developments in alternate ironmaking processes, which are largely driven by the needs to decrease CO2
emissions and energy consumption, are discussed in this article. This discussion will include the description of the recently developed novel flash ironmaking technology. This technology bypasses the cokemaking and pelletization/sintering steps, which are pollution prone and energy intensive, by using iron ore concentrate. This transformational technology renders large energy saving and decreased CO2
emissions compared with the blast furnace process. Economic analysis indicated that this new technology, when operated using natural gas, would be economically feasible. As a related topic, we will also discuss different methods for computing process energy and total energy requirements in ironmaking.
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