H2 Injection Into the Blast Furnace

10 June 2021 • 10:30 a.m.–Noon

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Following a general review, this second webinar looks specifically at adapting the blast furnace to hydrogen injection, with a general strategy, results from European trials and a discussion panel discussing what paths might be followed.

Presentation 1: Challenges and Opportunities to Use Hydrogen in Blast Furnace Ironmaking
Environmentally friendly green or blue hydrogen is one of the few reductants that can replace coke, injected coal and/or injected natural gas in blast furnace ironmaking. While green and blue hydrogen is not a commercial reality today, blast furnace ironmakers wish to understand how this promising green reductant/fuel can be used in the future. Can hydrogen provide blast furnace steel plants with a path to net zero carbon emissions? Enabling technologies to further reduce CO2 emissions with hydrogen will be described, and limits to potential steel plant CO2 reductions identified. The role of a blast furnace purge gas stream rich in H2 and how this can be deployed within the steel plant to meet the plant energy demands will be discussed. Greater hydrogen use will be a part of green ironmaking over the next 30 years as the hydrogen economy emerges. The enabling technologies that must be developed over the next 20 to 30 years will be discussed

Presentation 2: Injection of Hydrogen and Hydrocarbon Carriers Into the Blast Furnace
The injection of auxiliary reducing agents into the tuyeres of a blast furnace has fundamental effects on the total energy and material balance of the process. The effects of the injected hydrogen and hydrocarbon carriers on the raceway adiabatic flame temperature (RAFT), additional oxygen needed to keep the RAFT on a required level, hot blast volume, shares of direct and indirect reduction, coke consumption, composition and energy content of top gas and its hydrogen content, as well as productivity of the blast furnace, cause considerable changes of the balance results. The injection of auxiliary reducing agents have a cooling effect on the RAFT. The cooling effect increases with increasing amounts of hydrogen in the injectants by the energy demand for cracking hydrocarbon carriers. To avoid freezing the process with increasing injection rates, there is the need to keep the RAFT at a suitable temperature level. This can be achieved by adding oxygen via the hot blast or by injection. The increased hydrogen contents of the tuyere gas have effects on the reduction reactions in the blast furnace. With increasing injection of hydrogen or hydrogen carriers, there is the need to control the hydrogen content of the blast furnace top gas to guarantee safe operation. The use of hydrogen and hydrocarbon carriers in the blast furnace leads to higher coke rates but also to a CO2 mitigation of up to 20% when injecting 40 kg hydrogen per ton of hot metal compared to operation modes with pulverized coal injection.

Panel Discussion: Potential paths for North American Blast Furnace H2 injection 


Ian Cameron, Hatch Ltd.
Hans-Bodo Lüngen, Steel Institute VDEh
Peter Schmoele, Consultant
Joseph Poveromo, RMI Global Consulting
Matthias Weinberg, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe

Ian Cameron
Ian Cameron is the principal metallurgist, Ferrous, at Hatch Ltd. He develops client-focused solutions to produce iron and steel starting from the basic raw materials. He has extensive international experience in ironmaking process technology, plant operations and new technology implementation. His experience includes coke plant, pellet plant and blast furnace design and operations, assessing steel plant carbon footprints, and the implementation/impact of future ironmaking technologies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Cameron holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in metallurgical engineering from McGill University and is a Professional Engineer in Ontario, Canada. Cameron is the lead author of a new book, Blast Furnace Ironmaking, Analysis, Control and Optimization, where he and his co-authors outline a first principles approach to complete blast furnace heat and mass balances.

Hans-Bodo Lüngen Bio
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.

Peter Schmoele Bio
Peter Schmoele studied metallurgical science and received a Dr.-Ing. degree from the Technical University Clausthal, Germany. He has been engaged in the steel industry (Hoesch Stahl Dortmund and thyssenkrupp Steel Duisburg) since 1983. His last position was vice president Competence Centre Metallurgy at thyssenkrupp Steel. After retirement at the end of 2019, he has been working as a consultant. Since February 2012, he has been a professor at the Technical University RWTH Aachen and since November 2016 he has served as an honorary member of the blast furnace committee of Steel Institute VDEh.


David Marshall, Performance Improvement Inc., and Mitren Sukhram, Hatch Associates Ltd.

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