RMI Report Explores Reduction of CO2 Emissions in Chinese Steel Industry | New
As COP26 approaches, world leaders are looking to further engage in carbon reduction targets. With 17% of China’s carbon emissions coming from steelmaking, the RMI report says “big changes” could happen if the country follows a decarbonization roadmap.
Key features of the roadmap include a reduction in demand for steel in China, accelerated by the goal of reducing carbon emissions, a steel recycling campaign and a shift to low-emission alternatives. carbon.
These alternatives include direct hydrogen reduction iron, smelting reduction with coal or hydrogen, and the use of carbon capture and storage (CCS) techniques.
Carbon dioxide (CO2) and post-combustion initiatives were examined, with the “centralized” capture of pre-combustion potentially leading to a 60% capture rate while reducing the cost of capture.
Post-combustion CCS, involving CO2 capture from flue gas sources, could reduce emissions intensity but could increase the premium for steel production.
The use of pure oxygen instead of air for the combustion of coal in the blast furnace has also been studied. This increases the CO2 content of the top gas, allowing for the elimination of use or disposal of CO2 at a lower cost, potentially reducing the carbon intensity of the steel by 30%.
All low-carbon alternatives have one thing in common: they aim to decarbonize the iron reduction process, considered the key to zero-carbon primary steel.
By reducing the carbon intensity of the reducing agent, steel can be made in the “greenest” way possible.
Due to the high costs of creating carbonless steel (it has a 40% to 100% premium over conventional fossil fuel based steel), costs in other areas such as equipment of CCS and electrolysers will need to be reduced, as foreseen in the report.
According to the report, China could see its production of steel from fossil fuels increase from 90 to 20% by 2050.
The full report can be accessed here.