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Based on natural gas with high levels of electrolytic hydrogen blending (DRI)


Technology Description

Direct reduced iron plants - in which iron ore is reduced to iron without melting - typically use natural gas or coal. The emissions of the process are strongly reduced by substituting a portion of the natural gas or coal with hydrogen, produced by electrolysis of water using fossil-free electricity. The current commercial technology is already suited to work with up to 30% natural gas displacement by hydrogen, without significant changes, but higher blends are also under exploration. (See also entries for Direct reduced iron - Improved ore refining methods and Direct reduced iron based on 100% electrolytic hydrogen)

Relevance for Net Zero

Increasing replacement of natural gas by hydrogen from renewable electricity in this process technology would enable reduction of between 10% to 82% in CO2 emissions compared to the standard blast furnace route. While this technology has reasonable potential, alternatives are likely to have lower costs and/or lead to larger emission reductions.

Key Countries

Mexico, Germany, Spain, France, China, Canada

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