Decarbonizing Background and Current BF Fuel Strategies

6 May 2021 • 10:30 a.m.–Noon

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Decarbonization of ironmaking is actively exploring the use of hydrogen injection into the blast furnace. This first of two webinars looks at the background of current decarbonization developments plantwide and current fuel blast furnace strategies.

Presentation 1: Decarbonizing the U.S. Steel Industry

Presentation 2: Ways to Reduce CO2 Emissions in Iron and Steelmaking in Europe
The key ways to reduce CO2 emissions in iron- and steelmaking can be summarized under the general terms “smart carbon usage” (SCU) and “carbon direct avoidance (CDA).” SCU covers carbon carriers as reductant incremental measures at the conventional blast furnace converter route and the CO2 mitigation measures by applying so-called “end-of-pipe” technologies like CO2 capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and usage (CCU). CDA covers the scrap-based electric arc furnace route and the iron ore–based steelmaking route via direct reduction plant and electric arc furnace by the use of natural gas and/or hydrogen as reducing agent, which means the complete avoidance of coal and coke for the reduction of iron ores. The application of CCU in the conventional blast furnace converter route, which means the conversion of process gases into chemical raw materials, as well as the implementation of the direct reduction technology with hydrogen and subsequent smelting of the direct reduced iron to steel in an electric arc furnace, requires an immense amount of hydrogen and CO2 -free electric energy.

Presentation 3: Current Blast Furnace Reductant Strategies
Current blast furnace reductant strategies focus on both minimizing the total reductant rate and reducing the portion of coke in the total reductant rate. Minimizing the total reductant rate starts with blast conditions: maximizing the hot blast temperature while minimizing blast moisture via injectants such as coal or natural gas. Next is maximizing raw materials (coke, ferrous) quality. Improving the quality of the ferrous burden starts with maximizing the percentage of agglomerates (sinter, pellets) as well as improving sinter, pellet properties (sizing, strength and reducibility). Charging metallics (scrap, hot briquetted iron), when cost-effective, can be helpful. Coke quality improvement efforts include maintaining adequate cold strength and coke strength after reduction (CSR) along with maximizing coke carbon content, as limited by coking coal availability. Reducing the portion of coke in the reductant mix is mainly via coal injection but preferably by natural gas injection and/or combined coal/gas injection wherever natural gas is available at reasonable cost.


Sachin Nimbalkar, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Joseph Poveromo, RMI Global Consulting
Hans-Bodo Lüngen, Steel Institute VDEh

Sachin Nimbalkar
Sachin Nimbalkar serves as group leader, Manufacturing Energy Efficiency Research & Analysis, at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. He received his M.S. degree and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University. His research background is in energy and carbon efficiency, industrial process heating and waste heat recovery.

Joseph Poveromo
Joseph J. Poveromo received his Ph.D. and M.S. degree from the Center for Process Metallurgy at the State University of New York, Buffalo; and his B.S. degree in chemical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic institute. From 1974, he worked at Bethlehem Steel’s Homer Research Laboratories. In 1993, he established his consultancy, Raw Materials & Ironmaking Global Consulting. Through 2008, his principal client was the Quebec Cartier Mining Com, serving as director technology — international. Currently, he consults for steel, iron ore and other natural resources; technology providers; and financial and consultancy companies on a global basis. Poveromo is a Distinguished Member and Fellow of AIST; his awards include the T.L. Joseph Award for long-standing contributions to ironmaking technology. He is also a special member of the International Iron Metallics Association.

Hans-Bodo Lüngen
Hans-Bodo Lüngen studied metallurgy at Technical University of Aachen (RWTH Aachen), Germany. He received his diploma in metallurgy and completed his doctoral thesis on the sintering of iron ores. He joined Steel Institute VDEh in 1985, and currently serves as executive member of the managing board.


Felix Firsbach, Lhoist Group, and Rishabh Bahel, Cleveland-Cliffs Cleveland Works LLC

Organized by: AIST’s Ironmaking, Direct Reduced Iron and Energy & Utilities Technology Committees