MIDREX H2 - The Road to CO2-free Direct Reduction

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Oral Presentation Process operations in gas based direct reduction technologies (MIDREX, HYL etc.)


Mr Robert Millner (Primetals Technologies Austria GmbH)


Since the iron and steel industry is responsible for a portion of 7-10% of the global CO2 emissions, it has to reduce its CO2 emissions drastically during the next 30 years. The EU target is a reduction of CO2 emissions by 80% until 2050, which can only be achieved by switching to different iron & steel production processes. This can be either the scrap-EAF route for certain quality grade steels or the H2 based direct reduction – EAF route for high grade steels. The use of hydrogen sources in the existing BF-BOF route can only contribute to a small reduction of CO2 emissions, but will not be sufficient to achieve the CO2 reduction targets. In order to prepare for the future, many steel producers have projected the integration of a direct reduction plant in their existing steel works in their strategy. The leading industrial process for shaft based direct reduction is the Midrex process with a market share of more than 80%. This process can be operated with 100% natural gas but can also process hydrogen in any ratio up to 100%. The required amount of hydrogen can be supplied via external pipeline (e.g. green or blue hydrogen sources) or be produced at the plant site (e.g. by PEM electrolysis). This paper describes the flexible Midrex H2 plant configuration for 30% H2 input and stepwise increase up to 100% H2 input. It explains the advantages of H2 use in a Midrex direct reduction plant; e.g. lower energy consumption due to lower reformation work for hydrocarbons. The options for use of DRI/HBI products in the steel plant (EAF, BOF, Blast Furnace charging) incl. options for transportation (Hot Transport Conveyor to EAF, etc.) are summarized. An overview about currently ongoing H2 plant projects based on Midrex shaft furnace technology will be given. Furthermore, a feasibility and case study of a DR plant operation based on H2 will be presented. The advantages of implementation of PEM technology are summarized; e.g. additional DRI/HBI production can be achieved at existing or new Midrex direct reduction plants from H2 and O2 produced by electrolysis. For all plant configurations the CO2 emission rates for different H2 substitution ratios from 100% NG to 100% H2 are compared. The outcome shows that Midrex H2 will be play an important role in the transition scenario towards CO2-free steel making. Authors: Robert Millner*, Johannes Rothberger*, Hanspeter Ofner*, Barbara Rammer*, Vincent Chevrier** * Primetals Technologies Austria GmbH, Linz, Austria ** Midrex Technologies Inc., Charlotte, USA
Speaker Country Austria

Primary author

Mr Robert Millner (Primetals Technologies Austria GmbH)


Dr Barbara Rammer (Primetals Technologies Austria GmbH) Mr Hanspeter Ofner (Primetals Technologies Austria GmbH) Mr Johannes Rothberger (Primetals Technologies) Dr Vincent Chevrier (Midrex Technologies Inc.)

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