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Contributor Andrew Gadd

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The global steel industry is going to witness a transformation in terms of technology and operating practice due to decarbonisation pressure. However, this transition will not come without substantial costs, as all CO2 abatement pathways are forecast to be more expensive than the current prevailing technologies in use. In this Insight, CRU assesses what level of carbon price will lead to investments in CO2 reduction technologies for blast furnaces (BF), which are the a large source of emissions in the steel value chain.


Blast Furnace emissions can be cut, but where and how?

Under pressure to decarbonise from policymakers and other stakeholders, BF operators around the world are seeking to reduce emissions. This has led them to think about how they can change their operating practices to reduce emissions from their existing steel works without losing their competitiveness.

There are a number of options to make substantial emission cuts from BFs in operation today. Two of the most powerful options are considered in this analysis:

  1. Improving ferrous burden quality by substituting sinter with pellet.
  2. Changing reductants injected to the BF via the tuyeres. Non-renewable PCI is most widespread. Three leading alternatives for emission reduction are:
    1. Natural gas
    2. Blue H2 and
    3. Green H2

As part of our research into the marginal abatement costs of carbon in the steel industry, we have used CRU’s Steel Cost Model to estimate how far carbon prices need to increase to incentivise widespread global uptake of each of these abatement practices.

40% emissions cut possible through change in operating practices for blast furnaces 

What is the price of decarbonising blast furnaces figure 1

 

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Contributor Andrew Gadd

Senior Analyst View profile

Contributor Ian Warden

Senior Analyst View profile