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German Steel Giant Invests US$1.9 Billion, Largest Plant Switches to Hydrogen

published: 2022-10-10 9:30

The road to net zero in heavy industries such as steel and cement was always going to be long and full of challenges. German steel giant ThyssenKrupp is investing $1.9 billion in a hydrogen direct reduction system, which does not require rare and high-grade iron to produce green steel.

With the existing technology, every ton of steel produced will emit nearly two tons of carbon dioxide. Therefore, the steel industry contributes a lot to the overall carbon emissions of human activities, accounting for 7-8%. To reduce carbon emissions to zero, the steel industry need to do a lot of work. For example, green steel technologies include stopping the use of fossil fuels, switching to hydrogen instead of roasting coal or coke as reducing agents, and hydrogen can also power electric arc furnaces.

H2 Green Steel in Switzerland is currently making a splash in the green steel market, with a $3 billion facility expected to produce around 5 million tons of high-quality zero-emission steel annually by 2030. By 2025, Arcelormi, the world's second-largest steel producer will also build a zero-carbon plant in Spain that will produce 1.6 million tons of green steel.

Now to Germany's Thyssenkrupp, which has pledged to provide funding to replace the current super-large blast furnace at the Isburg plant with a hydrogen-powered direct-reduction system that will start producing about 100,000 ounces in 2026. 2.5 million tons of mild steel.

Although low-carbon, not zero-carbon, Thyssenkrupp's plans are still helpful for the steel industry as a whole, Renew Economy points out that higher-quality steel can be produced from lower grades of iron than other direct reduction technologies. The ultra-high quality (>67% Fe) iron ore required by most electric arc furnaces is naturally more expensive, driving up overall cost.

(Image:shutterstock)

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