What is green steel?
November 20, 2021
Green Steel Innovation Sustainable Solution for the Steel Industry, Design, Manufacture & Installation
The steel industry has been a huge positive in people’s lives and in many aspects of society. Used extensively in just about every area of society, steel has made all kinds of things possible. Steel forms the basis of many products within the automotive, medical, home and commercial arena. The only downside of this amazing material is the fact that it isn’t particularly eco friendly. In fact the steel industry is responsible for around 7% of global CO2 emissions. This is where a fossil free version, ‘Green Steel’ comes in.
Steel is traditionally made using a blast furnace which emits an average of more than two tons of CO2 per ton of steel. An alternative process of manufacturing involves replacing coking coal with renewable electricity and green hydrogen. This enables production of CO2-free steel at the supplier level.
Fortescue Future Industries CEO and co-founder Andrew “Twiggy” Forrest said “ There are two key methods of green steel production:
- In one, you replace coal in the furnace with our old friend, green hydrogen, (and) you get steel – but instead of emitting vast clouds of CO2, you produce nothing more than water vapor. To strengthen the steel, you simply add the carbon separately. It bonds into the metal rather than dispersing into the atmosphere.
- The other way to make green steel — the radical approach — is to scrap the blast furnace altogether and just zap the ore with renewable electricity.”
Both methods are being trialled by his company, but there are many others in the industry who are looking into the potential options available. The first ever hydrogen reduced sponge iron was produced this year by HYBRIT (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology). Not long after, Volvo unveiled an autonomous electric dumper from this fossil free steel.
As more manufacturers decide to commit to using green steel, people can look forward to a cleaner, greener environment.