Great importance is attached to recycling in the steel industry – and has been for a long time: Blast furnace gas was first used to generate energy for the steel mill at the end of the 19th century. Now for the first time, Carbon2Chem® is using the gases from the steelmaking process as a raw material for chemical production. Among other things this reduces CO2 emissions.
Europe’s integrated iron and steel mills now convert all their process gases. Most of them are used in power plants to generate electricity. Many mills are now autonomous and rarely have to buy in electricity.
An integrated iron and steel mill comprises coke plant, blast furnace, BOF melt shop, auxiliary equipment and processing facilities. Steel mill gases are generated in the blast furnace, the BOF melt shop and the coke plant.
In the coke plant, coke is produced by heating coal in the absence of air. Coke is harder than coal and porous, facilitating the flow of hot air in the blast furnace and stabilizing the column it forms with the iron ore.
From iron to steel
In the blast furnace iron is produced from iron ore at around 1,500 degrees Celsius. Iron is still too brittle to be made into e.g. automotive sheet, so it must first be converted into steel. This transformation takes place in the BOF melt shop. The carbon content of the iron is reduced through the addition of oxygen until steel is produced.
With Carbon2Chem® we not only want to use steel mill gases to generate electricity, we also want to produce valuable chemicals from them. The advantage is that the share of blast furnace gases used to produce chemicals will no longer be burned off and less carbon dioxide (CO2) will be generated. The carbon – including the CO2 – is used for a second time in chemical production.