The route to a green blast furnace

With the aid of advanced modelling Swerim has assessed several process concepts which, according to previous research, can potentially reduce CO2 emissions from the blast furnace process. The results show which development routes that are most promising for further research.

The steel industry accounts for about seven percent of global emissions of fossil carbon dioxide, largely as a result of using coal and coke in the blast furnace, where iron ore is reduced to hot metal. At the same time, the blast furnace process is large-scale and, over the short term, the most energy-efficient method for producing ore-based hot metal.

Reduced emissions from the blast furnace

Several concepts for reducing carbon dioxide emissions have previously been proposed and investigated by various international research groups. In the ”Green Blast Furnace” project Swerim has assessed the potential of the various methods through the use of advanced process modelling, while also looking at possible synergies. The possibilities for reducing carbon dioxide emissions over the short and long term have been summarised. 

The potential of biomass

Results show that use of, for example, biomass can potentially reduce emissions from the blast furnace by up to 30 percent without the need for any major investment.

“The project clearly shows that realistic potential gains can be realised by using various biomaterials, partly for specific fossil carbon dioxide emissions from the blast furnace and partly for SSAB’s total emissions of fossil carbon dioxide. The results also show the need for further studies concerning requirements for commercial supply of biomaterials, as well as the need for development of SSAB’s production plants to enable the next step towards full implementation,” explains Bo Sundelin, SSAB.

Conducted in close collaboration with SSAB, the projected has been funded by SIP Metallic Materials and CAMM.

Agenda 2030 sustainability goals