Mr Ashton Hertrich G. (Danieli)
The last two decades have been marked by significant political changes with a view to slowing global warming and therefore CO2 emissions. Within this context, the European Union is on the front line in promoting a policy to gradually reduce CO2 emissions, thus becoming the first carbon-neutral continent. It aims to cut CO2 emissions by 20%, 40% and 100% compared to 1990 levels, by the years 2020, 2030 and 2050, respectively. The iron&steel industry is one of the major sources of industrial CO2 emissions, having the lion’s share of 7/8% of the world’s total GHG. Therefore, it is easy to understand that to comply with the targets imposed by European regulations, significant changes have to occur in this industrial sector. Today, steel production mainly relies on Blast Furnace (BF) technology, but it has been widely demonstrated that this route has a major CO2 impact compared with electric steelmaking. In fact, CO2 emissions can be considerably reduced by producing steel in a Direct Reduction Plant (DRP) coupled with an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF); and further savings are possible if the DRP is based on ENERGIRON technology. Indeed, thanks to its energy efficiency and the unique feature of having a built-in CO2 removal system, the Energiron process is able to cut CO2 emissions by another 50%, compared to any other proven DR technology. It is also designed to use hydrogen in place of natural gas as a reducing agent without the need to make major changes to the basic process scheme in order to obtain minimum CO2 emissions. For all these reasons, the ENERGIRON direct reduction technology stands as the most effective to decrease CO2 emissions in iron and steelmaking, and therefore to implement the EU vision for a prosperous, modern and competitive steelmaking industry.