Mr Hanspeter Ofner (Primetals Technologies Austria) Mr Norbert Rein (Primetals Technologies Austria)
Due to the increasing amount of CO2 in the atmosphere and the associated climate change new technologies for reducing CO2 emissions in iron making processes are inevitable. Therefore, the steel industry is pushed to make further progress towards higher energy and resource efficiency as well as environmental protection. Under these boundary conditions the HYFOR technology is being developed by Primetals Technologies. HYFOR is a direct reduction process based on fluidized bed technology using hydrogen as reducing agent. The feed material is iron ore concentrate directly from the beneficiation process with a grain size in the range of a conventional pellet feed. Therefore, no agglomeration step (e.g. pelletizing) is required, which means high overall process efficiency and low operation costs. As a result of the usage of hydrogen (generated from renewable energies or natural gas as an intermediate step towards CO2 lean steelmaking) and the avoidance of the agglomeration step a saving of resources as well as a reduction of related CO2 emission is accomplished. Prior research activities with various lab scale fluidized bed reactors at the Chair of Ferrous Metallurgy, Montanuniversitaet Leoben, showed the proof-of-principle of the HYFOR process. The currently developed Hot Bench Scale plant is being built at voestalpine Donawitz to verify the technical feasibility of the HYFOR process and bridge the gap between laboratory scale and industrial scale plant. The HYFOR technology is a solution for the industrial de-carbonization path for iron- and steelmaking in line with the strategy of the EU and allowing at the same time lowest operation cost of the DR/EAF steelmaking route. By using hydrogen and energy generated mainly from renewables, it is possible to achieve the guidelines of the EU Roadmap 2050 to reduce the CO2 emissions by 80 % between 2005 and 2050 with the new HYFOR process.