METAL

Iron & Steel Production

Figures from 2018 record global steel production at 1.8 gigatonnes, with China
accounting for more than
half of this amount.

Every tonne of steel produced generates some 1.8 tonnes of CO2 emissions,
for a global total of 3.1 gigatonnes (including both direct and indirect emissions).
This represents 8% of total energy- and process-related CO2 emissions.

More than two thirds of steel is produced via Blast Furnace-Basic Oxygen Furnace
(BF-BOF), which uses metallurgical coal as a chemical-reduction agent.
Most of the remainder is produced via Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) from Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) or steel scrap.

Paths towards decarbonization

The iron & steel industry has two main options for decarbonizing to net zero:

  1. Switch to Direct Reduced Iron (DRI) / Electric Arc Furnace (EAF)
    The first option involves replacing the blast furnace process – which uses both carbon and coke to remove the oxygen from
    iron ore – with a direct-reduction process that uses fossil-free energy to produce hydrogen from water.
    Then the only by-product is water vapor. This process is currently being piloted in at least six plants, most of which are in Europe.
  2. Apply carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) to existing processes
    While the second option continues to utilize processes based on fossil fuels,  carbon-capture equipment is installed to
    capture the majority of CO2 emissions. The carbon is then transported to permanent storage, or can be used in synthetic fuel
    production, for example.

How SFW is helping

SFW can support the iron & steel industry’s decarbonization efforts by:

E

Aluminum

There are two steps in aluminum production. First bauxite is calcined to produce
alumina,then the alumina is smelted to produce aluminum.

Direct and indirect emissions from the industry account for 0.4 Gt of CO2 – around 1% of total energy- and process-related CO2 emissions. Some 90% of aluminum-industry emissions are indirect, coming from electricity used in production. The remaining 10% of emissions come from the carbon anodes upon which the process is based.

 

Path towards decarbonization

Currently there is only one option to decarbonize aluminum to net zero: source all electricity and heat from renewables, and replace coal-based anodes with sustainable alternatives.

How SFW is helping

SFW can assist the aluminium industry’s green transition by providing industrial thermal power plants that run on biomass. We are also exploring ways of replacing coal-based anodes with biochar.

When using dedicated renewables for electricity generation, Liquid Air Energy Storage (LAES) technology can solve intermittency issues to ensure reliable power generation.

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