As one of the biggest markets worldwide, it is no surprise that the steel industry has been branching into green steel innovations in recent years. Producing nearly 2 billion tons of steel a year, the sector contributes to a fair percentage of carbon emissions globally.
So what developments are in the pipeline to improve this, and who is behind these new initiatives? There are three main contributors making waves with their ideas.
Molten Oxide Electrolysis
Created at MIT, the idea of molten oxide electrolysis is to separate the iron ore by using electricity and creating a byproduct of O2 instead of CO2. The company tasked with bringing this technology up to the commercial level is Boston Metal.
The company hopes that within the next three years, the project will have gained lab success and can be brought onto the market. Areas of focus are Europe, Australia and Canada because they have easy access to renewable energies, which are needed in large amounts to keep the process carbon-free.
Increased Blast Furnace Efficiency
Kobe steel, a steel manufacturing company from Japan, is working on a technique for creating natural gas blast furnaces that use less coke. This raw material has a high carbon content and is used in steel production.
Kobe maintains that adding briquettes of hot iron to blast furnaces at an exact ratio may be the perfect way to use less coke. This is said to decrease the emissions of CO2 by around 20% but is not a final solution to the goal of zero emissions by 2050.
Hydrogen Steel Plant
One of the options of a CO2-free process, hydrogen, is an exciting prospect. Blast furnaces traditionally use coal to strip oxygen from the iron ore. Research suggests that using hydrogen rather than coal will produce a byproduct of H2O rather than CO2.
Netherlands-based company EIT InnoEnergy has been working on this project along with several other industry heavyweights. They are hoping that by 2024 the commercial hydrogen steel plant H2 Green Steel will be able to produce around five tons of green steel.
Green Steel Innovations
Although the cost of green steel innovations is huge, the benefit should any (or all) of these projects work is even greater. There is a huge market for green initiatives in all industries, and the steel sector is doing what it can to correct their massive carbon footprint.
For more information on how Steelmor can help you with your projects, please feel free to get in touch with our team.