Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS


LoCO2Fe Report Summary

Project ID: 654013
Funded under: H2020-EU.

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - LoCO2Fe (Development of a Low CO2 Iron and Steelmaking Integrated Process Route for a Sustainable European Steel Industry)

Reporting period: 2015-05-01 to 2016-10-31

Summary of the context and overall objectives of the project

Over the past decade, the steel industry in Europe has been spending a lot of effort in Research and Development of technologies that help in achieving the EU’s CO2 emissions targets and reduce the cost of EU ETS compliance. That has been done through a combination of large scale projects which were part publicly funded with European funding and partly through smaller privately funded research activities.

From the initial stages of feasibility studies, several technologies were put forward for further development, one of which is the HIsarna smelting reduction process.

The objective for the current project is to prove the capability of the HIsarna ironmaking technology to achieve at least 35% reduction in CO2 emission intensity, compared to blast furnace operated site based on Best Available Technology Currently Installed. This will be achieved through:
• Change operation parameters in order to achieve at least 35% CO2 intensity reduction per tonne of steel through:
o Combined iron ore and scrap operation;
o Partially replacing coal injection with sustainable biomass injection;
o Minimising coal rate by maximising energy use in the reactor, through balancing the energy between the upper and lower part of the reactor;
o Using limestone instead of burnt lime as a fluxing agent;
o Quantifying potential for energy recovery from hot off-gas;
o Making the process ‘CCS ready’ by having process gas suitable for CCS with little or no processing;
• Operation of the HIsarna pilot plant for several months continuously in order to establish process and equipment stability;
• Test process conditions and validate for scale up

Work performed from the beginning of the project to the end of the period covered by the report and main results achieved so far

Large structural changes are being implemented on the pilot plant. A new off-gas duct has been installed, a raw materials preparation plant is being constructed and an improved dust handling system, including a new bag filter plant, is being build. As part of these changes improvements to plant and subsystems are being implemented in order to improve plant availability and equipment stability. This will be tested during operation of the campaign.

The engineering work for an automated scrap dosing system has been completed and this currently under construction. Half of the required scrap material is already available on site.

Sustainable biomass in the form of carbonised wood has been ordered and the first deliveries have arrived on site.

In order to assess the energy recovery potential, but also the effect of fouling and choice of materials for the boiler section, a special test probe has been procured. This type probe has already been successfully used for measurements in coal and gas fired power stations.

In making the process ‘CCS ready’ systems are being installed that replace the N2 carrier gasses with CO2.

Progress beyond the state of the art and expected potential impact (including the socio-economic impact and the wider societal implications of the project so far)

The project will have both social and environmental impact and are bulleted below.

Social impact:
• The HIsarna technology will boost Europe's industrial leadership in advanced manufacturing and processing. In addition it will foster employment and open new market opportunities in this field. This would relate both to the European steel industry itself, as well as the many European engineering companies supplying the plant and equipment. The European engineering and equipment builders for the steel industry still have a leading position in the world today and through this innovative technology will have an opportunity to stay ahead of fierce competition from emerging economies around the world;
• The HIsarna technology will secure the future of the steel industry in Europe as a key enabling industry and important employer. This will also have a major impact on upstream and downstream related industries, including the mining industry, the cement industry (being an important user of slag by-products) and the metal processing industries;
• The HIsarna technology, once mature, is readily transferable across the iron and steel sector as a realistic alternative for blast furnaces. Other sectors, in particular those related to design, engineering and building of plant, equipment and control systems, would also benefit directly.

Environmental impact:
• The HIsarna technology offers an economically viable solution to the challenge of climate change. The technology offers more than 35% reduction in specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emission intensity, with respect to the best available techniques currently installed (BAT) ;
• Next to the reduction of GHG emissions the HIsarna technology will substantially reduce other emissions like fine dust, CO, NOx and SOx. Elimination of coke plants, sinter plants, and blast furnaces, will have a major impact on the future skyline and land use of the steel industry as a traditional heavy industry in Europe;
• An opportunity for significant reduction in the compliance costs of the EU ETS for the steel industry, making the EU steel industry more competitive while avoiding any unwanted distortions be-tween Member States.

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