A General Vision for Reduction of Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions from the Steel Industry
1. Global Challenge of Climate Warming and Its Rationale
2. Progress of the Steel Industry and its Role in Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions
3. Review of Means to Cut CO2 Emissions from the Steel Industry
3.1. Improving Energy Efficiency
3.2. Potential Means to Mitigate CO2 Emissions in Ore-Based Production by Improving and Modifying Current Technology
- Transfer to coke dry quenching in coke making (CDQ)
- Production of high strength coke to better utilize hydrogen reduction in BF
- Top-pressure Recovery Turbine (TRT) technology in BFs and dry dedusting systems for BFG and BOFG (blast furnace and converter off-gases)
- Incorporation of oxygen enrichment technology in hot stoves
- Integrated optimized usage of off-gases in-plant, for electricity generation and district heating
- Top gas recycling in oxygen blast furnace (TGR-OBF)
- Enhanced utilization of unused steel plant waste heat (off-gases from sintering, coke plant, hot stoves, converters, reheating furnaces, etc.)
- Heat recovery from slags
3.3. Potential Means to Reduce Emissions by CO2 Capturing and Storage as well as Utilization
3.4. Hydrogen Economy—Definitive Solution Toward Carbon Neutral Society?
3.5. Clean Electricity—The Major Energy Form in the Future
3.6. Increasing Recycling—A Key Factor in Overall Reduction of CO2 Emissions
4. Summary of the Means to Cut CO2 Emissions from the Steel Industry—A General Vision
- The conservative forecast for steel demand/production in 2050 is 2.5 Gt/y. At the same time, the emissions should be cut down by 65–70%, which means that specific emissions, t CO2/t steel, should be reduced by approximately 75%. This will keep the steel industry in line with the IPCC´s target. This realization demands resolution and a strong commitment to wide-ranging and properly directed investments in reconstruction of the global steel industry. Practical implementation should be performed by steel enterprises and supervised by organizations like the World Steel Association, the United Nations, and the European Union.
- In the short term, the most effective pathway is to improve energy efficiency and mitigate CO2 emissions by installing best available technologies in existing integrated steel plants (including sintering/pelletizing, coke making, BFs, BOFs, CC, rolling mills, etc.) as well as in EAF plants. Reducing C/H ratio in fuels and reductants, via efficient heat recovery and integrated management of energy flows as well as by adopting CCS from off gases, can decrease specific emissions by 40–50%.
- More radical change is possible only via radical transmission from carbon-based metallurgy (coal, coke, oil, natural gas) to carbon-lean/carbon-free iron making. That can be realized via a combination of hydrogen reduction and melting with low-Carbon/C-free electricity. This provides major reconstruction of steel plants, replacement of blast furnaces with direct reduction furnaces, and production and storage for hydrogen. Pioneering attempts in this direction are under way, but for a wide quantum leap, a bigger wide-ranging transition to hydrogen economy throughout the society is necessary.
- One positive trend that supports the steel industry in its endeavor to attain its targets is the growing share of recycled steel—from 30% to 50% level in steel production. This means a smaller need (share) for ore-based primary iron, higher share of EAF production, and strongly increasing demand for carbon-neutral electricity.
- In order for the steel industry to make these implementations on a broad front and on schedule, certain policy tools are also necessary. Financial support to develop and deploy new technologies should be used as positive incentives. On the other hand, carbon pricing that favors low- and zero-carbon solutions and penalizes CO2 emissions is indispensable. The system should be transparent and based on both national conventions and wide international treaties.
Conflicts of Interest
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|Primary Energy—Fossil||Bio||New Technology with CCS|
|Coal||Natural gas||Biomass||Coal + CCS||NG + CCS|
|820||490||740; 230 1||160–220||170|
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Holappa, L. A General Vision for Reduction of Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions from the Steel Industry. Metals 2020, 10, 1117. https://doi.org/10.3390/met10091117
Holappa L. A General Vision for Reduction of Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions from the Steel Industry. Metals. 2020; 10(9):1117. https://doi.org/10.3390/met10091117Chicago/Turabian Style
Holappa, Lauri. 2020. "A General Vision for Reduction of Energy Consumption and CO2 Emissions from the Steel Industry" Metals 10, no. 9: 1117. https://doi.org/10.3390/met10091117