Europe leads way in green steel technology

A by-product of steelmaking is carbon dioxide, which is harmful to the environment. However, several European steel companies are leading the development of technology that reduces CO2 emissions.

SSAB, based in Sweden, plans to manufacture fossil fuel-free steel by 2026. It is using technology that has already being developed to decarbonise each stage of steelmaking. One of the main components of steel is iron ore. Mining group LKAB is looking at replacing fossil fuels with hydrogen and bio-oil to produce iron ore pellets.

Most steel is produced in blast furnaces that emit large amounts of carbon. An alternative, direct reduced iron (DRI), uses natural gas to remove oxygen from iron ore to create more environmentally friendly sponge iron, which can be mixed with scrap steel in an arc furnace.

The Technology Officer at SSAB, Martin Pei, said:

“We will be able to take away the root cause of the majority of CO2 emissions from iron production.”

Low carbon steel production is between 20% to 30% more expensive than conventionally produced steel. Some industry experts recommend that governments should intervene to favour green steel and impose a “carbon border tax” on cheaper steel imported from China and other countries.

Many retailers with large warehouses use technology to reduce carbon emissions, such as low energy lights, solar panels and efficient insulation. Warehouses rely on box trolleys, shelving, storage trolleys and other essential equipment made from tubular steel. Warehouse owners will likely welcome the news that, in the future, most of their equipment may be made from low or no carbon steel.

Posted by Mark
23rd November 2020

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