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Decarbonization of the Iron and Steel Industry with Direct Reduction of Iron Ore with Green Hydrogen


Production of iron and steel releases seven percent of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Incremental changes in present primary steel production technologies would not be sufficient to meet the emission reduction targets. Replacing coke, used in the blast furnaces as a reducing agent, with hydrogen produced from water electrolysis has the potential to reduce emissions from iron and steel production substantially. Mass and energy flow model based on an open-source software (Python) has been developed in this work to explore the feasibility of using hydrogen direct reduction of iron ore (HDRI) coupled with electric arc furnace (EAF) for carbon-free steel production. Modeling results show that HDRI-EAF technology could reduce specific emissions from steel production in the EU by more than 35%, at present grid emission levels (295 kgCO2/MWh). The energy consumption for 1 ton of liquid steel (tls) production through the HDRI-EAF route was found to be 3.72 MWh, which is slightly more than the 3.48 MWh required for steel production through the blast furnace (BF) basic oxygen furnace route (BOF). Pellet making and steel finishing processes have not been considered. Sensitivity analysis revealed that electrolyzer efficiency is the most important factor affecting the system energy consumption, while the grid emission factor is strongly correlated with the overall system emissions.

Funding source: This project has received funding from the European Unions Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Skłodowska–Curie grant agreement No 765515
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Norway

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