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Chemical absorption - Process gas hydrogen enrichment and CO2 removal for use or storage (blast furnace)


Technology Description

Process gas hydrogen enrichment and CO2 capture, used alone or in combination, are options for reducing emissions from blast furnaces, the current dominant primary steelmaking technology that relies primarily on coal and coke (which is derived from coal). CO2 capture involves capturing CO2 from the flue gases, with subsequent transportation for storage. Hydrogen enrichment involves capturing process gases and recirculating them after reheating (to 900 °C) into the blast furnace as a reducing agent to lower requirements for coke and other fuels. The recirculated gas can be any CO and H2 source, with CO and H2 from coke oven gas and basic oxygen furnace gas the easiest to recover. Additionally, CO2 from blast furnace gas can be recovered and reformed into CO and H2, for use in the blast furnace or for external uses. Surplus CO2 could be transported for storage, further reducing emissions.

Relevance for Net Zero

The top gas recycling blast furnace would enable reducing the carbon input needs avoiding 30% CO2 emissions compared to a standard BF, and integration of CCUS would enable a reduction of up to 55-60% of the overall CO2 emissions per tonne of steel produced compared to a standard steel mill. However, capturing a large portion of emissions would likely be more capital intensive and costly than competing low emission primary steel production technologies, due to the need to capture CO2 from multiple sources, and the technology is at earlier stages of development compared to competing options that offer larger CO2 emission reductions. An advantage is that the technology can be applied as a retrofit to existing blast furnaces.

Key Countries

Japan, Korea, France, Sweden, India, Australia, China

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