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Pathways for Low-Carbon Transition of the Steel Industry—A Swedish Case Study


The concept of techno-economic pathways is used to investigate the potential implementation of CO2 abatement measures over time towards zero-emission steelmaking in Sweden. The following mitigation measures are investigated and combined in three pathways: top gas recycling blast furnace (TGRBF); carbon capture and storage (CCS); substitution of pulverized coal injection (PCI) with biomass; hydrogen direct reduction of iron ore (H-DR); and electric arc furnace (EAF), where fossil fuels are replaced with biomass. The results show that CCS in combination with biomass substitution in the blast furnace and a replacement primary steel production plant with EAF with biomass (Pathway 1) yield CO2 emission reductions of 83% in 2045 compared to CO2 emissions with current steel process configurations. Electrification of the primary steel production in terms of H-DR/EAF process (Pathway 2), could result in almost fossil-free steel production, and Sweden could achieve a 10% reduction in total CO2 emissions. Finally, (Pathway 3) we show that increased production of hot briquetted iron pellets (HBI), could lead to decarbonization of the steel industry outside Sweden, assuming that the exported HBI will be converted via EAF and the receiving country has a decarbonized power sector.

Funding source: This work was financed by the Mistra Carbon Exit Research programme.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Sweden

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