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Electric arc and plasma arc furnaces (high temperature heating)


Technology Description

Electric arc furnaces are already commonly used in secondary steel production, while electric glass melting furnaces are used in glass production. Plasma arc furnaces are a special type of electric arc furnace that can produce heat as high as 5000 degrees Celsius, by passing a powerful electric current through particular gases such as argon. These furnaces are used today in some applications, mainly hazardous waste incineration and processing some metals (ex. titanium, tungsten). The technology offers the possibility to be adapted to other high temperature heat processes that are currently difficult to electrify, such as cement and alumina production.

Relevance for Net Zero

This technology can replace fuel-fired ovens in several processes, reducing on-site emissions. The use of renewable electricity can enable a CO2-free heating process. Since it can achieve such high temperature heat, it may have good potential to electrify high temperature heat processes, although it remains at relatively early stages of development for key possible applications like cement production.

Key Countries

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