Steelmaking technology to reduce CO2 emissions enters final testing at Tata Steel

Tata Steel Europe has been testing the ground-breaking process called HIsarna at its IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands. HIsarna alone has already shown it can reduce energy use and carbon emissions by at least 20 %. But when combined with capturing and storing of the waste gases, the CO2 emissions from steelmaking could be reduced by 80 %.

HIsarna consists of a reactor into which iron ore is inserted at the top. The ore is liquefied in a high-temperature cyclone and drips to the bottom of the reactor. When powdered coal is injected into the reactor, it combines with the molten ore to produce pure liquid iron and CO2.

The technology will play a pivotal role in meeting future recycling ambitions of a circular economy. Tata Steel expects liquid iron made through HIsarna could be combined with up to 50 % recycled scrap steel when it is converted to steel – twice the present theoretical maximum for the blast furnace route. HIsarna also allows the recovery of valuable zinc from coated scrap steels.

Hans Fischer, Tata Steel Europe CEO, said: “Our steelmaking operations are among the world’s best performing in terms of sustainability, with the lowest possible emissions and energy use. For a significant further reduction the steel industry needs a breakthrough technology. HIsarna can herald in a new industrial revolution, with a focus on CO2 reduction and a circular economy in which we continually reuse resources.”

Tata Steel has launched the fifth and final test run of the plant to further prove many of the new technologies being used to ensure emissions from the world’s most recyclable material can be minimized.

Tata Steel researchers have already shown the HIsarna technology works and liquid iron from HIsarna has successfully been converted into steel. Following this long test run the next phase will start: designing, constructing and testing an industrial-scale HIsarna installation, capable of making up to 20 times more liquid iron.

(Source: Tata Steel)

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