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Decarbonization Pathways, Strategies, and Use Cases to Achieve Net-Zero CO2 Emissions in the Steelmaking Industry


The steelmaking industry is responsible for 7% of global CO2 emissions, making decarbonization a significant challenge. This review provides a comprehensive analysis of current steel-production processes, assessing their environmental impact in terms of CO2 emissions at a global level. Limitations of the current pathways are outlined by using objective criteria and a detailed review of the relevant literature. Decarbonization strategies are rigorously evaluated across various scenarios, emphasizing technology feasibility. Focusing on three pivotal areas—scrap utilization, hydrogen integration, and electricity consumption—in-depth assessments are provided, backed by notable contributions from both industrial and scientific fields. The intricate interplay of technical, economic, and regulatory considerations substantially affects CO2 emissions, particularly considering the EU Emissions Trading System. Leading steel producers have established challenging targets for achieving carbon neutrality, requiring a thorough evaluation of industry practices. This paper emphasizes tactics to be employed within short-, medium-, and long-term periods. This article explores two distinct case studies: One involves a hot rolling mill that utilizes advanced energy techniques and uses H2 for the reheating furnace, resulting in a reduction of 229 kt CO2 -eq per year. The second case examines DRI production incorporating H2 and achieves over 90% CO2 reduction per ton of DRI.

Funding source: This work was supported by the Spanish Government, MCIN/AEI/FEDER, and the EU under grants PID2021-122704OB-I00 and TED2021-131498B-I00.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Spain

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