Lead Forensics

Hydrogen fuelled steel production reduces CO2 emissions

Steel produced using hydrogen instead of fossil fuels significantly reduces CO2 emissions.

There is a huge worldwide demand for steel. In the warehouse, storage trolleys, racks and forklifts require massive quantities of steel. Steel production totalled 1,961 million tonnes in 2021 but caused 6.1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Traditional steel production uses an electric arc furnace or an oxygen blast furnace. Both methods use fossil fuels such as coke that produce carbon dioxide emissions. Green steel powered by hydrogen significantly reduces CO2 emissions by using a combination of renewable energy sources and hydrogen. Green steel production uses hydrogen to convert iron pellets into sponge iron that is then processed to make steel. This requires a much lower temperature than conventional steel production and less energy. No fossil fuels are required in green steel production.

Europe is a leading green steel producer. In Germany, seven green steel projects are planned.

Green steel production has many challenges. It costs more to manufacture than conventional steel and is dependent on the cost of renewable energy. If renewable energy costs level or are reduced through government subsidies, the cost of green steel could be more in line with that of traditionally made steel.

To deal with the expected global demand, a significant increase in hydrogen fuel green steel plants is needed. Every plant needs access to renewable energy and an abundant supply of hydrogen. Green steel needs to be part of a country’s national growth policy with the support of political policymakers.

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