Green Primary Steel

Some encouraging news today from Germany: https://fuelcellsworks.com/news/first-plant-in-germany-in-hydrogen-based-steel-production-goes-into-operation/

Low-CO2 primary steel production is just around the corner, although we need to take care that the hydrogen is produced by renewables (not coal gassification etc.). It’s not a 100% clean resource, mainly due to ore mining, transportation and requirements for painting etc. but a good step forward!

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Published today: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-71903-0 a study into the efficiency of Molton Oxide Electrolysis for the production of primary steel. This alternative pathway has the potential to use renewable energy for the direct reduction of iron oxide to iron:

The MOE process, if run above 1,535°C can provide a liquid metal product, ready for steel production including continuous casting. Here, the sole by-product of the reduction reaction is oxygen gas, i.e., no CO, CO2, SO2 or NOx. To date, MOE for ironmaking is a laboratory-proven extraction technology and is foreseen as scalable considering its analogies with molten salt electrolysis, which is used to produce several millions of tonnes of metals such as Al, Mg, Li, Mn and rare earth metals.

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