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Hydrogen Ironmaking: How It Works

Institut Jean Lamour, CNRS, Université de Lorraine, Labex DAMAS, 54011 Nancy, France
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Metals 2020, 10(7), 922;
Received: 3 June 2020 / Revised: 29 June 2020 / Accepted: 30 June 2020 / Published: 9 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Challenges and Prospects of Steelmaking Towards the Year 2050)
A new route for making steel from iron ore based on the use of hydrogen to reduce iron oxides is presented, detailed and analyzed. The main advantage of this steelmaking route is the dramatic reduction (90% off) in CO2 emissions compared to those of the current standard blast-furnace route. The first process of the route is the production of hydrogen by water electrolysis using CO2-lean electricity. The challenge is to achieve massive production of H2 in acceptable economic conditions. The second process is the direct reduction of iron ore in a shaft furnace operated with hydrogen only. The third process is the melting of the carbon-free direct reduced iron in an electric arc furnace to produce steel. From mathematical modeling of the direct reduction furnace, we show that complete metallization can be achieved in a reactor smaller than the current shaft furnaces that use syngas made from natural gas. The reduction processes at the scale of the ore pellets are described and modeled using a specific structural kinetic pellet model. Finally, the differences between the reduction by hydrogen and by carbon monoxide are discussed, from the grain scale to the reactor scale. Regarding the kinetics, reduction with hydrogen is definitely faster. Several research and development and innovation projects have very recently been launched that should confirm the viability and performance of this breakthrough and environmentally friendly ironmaking process. View Full-Text
Keywords: ironmaking; CO2 mitigation; hydrogen; kinetics; direct reduction ironmaking; CO2 mitigation; hydrogen; kinetics; direct reduction
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MDPI and ACS Style

Patisson, F.; Mirgaux, O. Hydrogen Ironmaking: How It Works. Metals 2020, 10, 922.

AMA Style

Patisson F, Mirgaux O. Hydrogen Ironmaking: How It Works. Metals. 2020; 10(7):922.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Patisson, Fabrice, and Olivier Mirgaux. 2020. "Hydrogen Ironmaking: How It Works" Metals 10, no. 7: 922.

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