With the recent acceleration in interest, strategic thinking, and commitment towards decarbonization, we as a key component of the steelmaking value chain need to play our part in this endeavour. To be effective in tackling the challenges and opportunities we face, the merchant ore-based metallics sector has begun exploring its role in the pathway to creation of a carbon-neutral steelmaking industry. The current findings are contained in the first editions of a whitepaper series on this topic, the components of which are available to download.
This whitepaper aims to foster discussion and ignite collaboration with stakeholders in the merchant ore-based metallics value chain including academia and public policy makers. We believe that the foundation to successful decarbonization is knowledge sharing and awareness raising on the challenges and opportunities inherent in this process, garnering deeper understanding and fostering potential solutions but most importantly ensuring sustainable outcomes.
Many companies in our value chain from iron ore miners to steelmakers have already published their thinking and strategy for decarbonization and there will be more to come. The purpose of our whitepaper is to examine these, identify common elements and issues and to catalyse thinking and advocacy for action. We recognise this is an evolving space and therefore plan to continually monitor and regularly update the whitepaper as a living document.
The whitepaper is divided into four separate papers:
Introduces the term ferrous metallics, the materials within its scope and their importance in the achievement of carbon-neutral steelmaking. It also introduces the principal role of ore-based metallics as enablers of CO2 emissions reduction and the circular economy for steel and foundry iron.
This section recognises the increasing importance of Electric Arc Furnace technology in the pathway to carbon-neutral steelmaking and its interdependence with the selection of raw materials (ferrous metallics) used. It provides a preliminary assessment of the issues relating to the quality of the raw materials in terms of residual impurities and carbon content and the impact on the future utilisation of ferrous scrap and on the EAF productivity, yield and efficiency.
Looks at the challenges and opportunities in the production and use of hydrogen-based DRI including the future availability of DR grade iron ore pellets and the prospects for fines-based direct reduction technologies. This section also provides a preliminary assessment of value-in use aspects of various types of pellets in terms of the impact of qualities such as gangue or carbon content.
Examines a variety of options for improving the carbon footprint of blast furnace / basic oxygen furnace steelmaking in the short to medium term including process (i.e. changes in burden preparation and charging) and end-of-pipe (i.e. carbon capture). This section also looks at differing regional approaches and alternative hot metal processes and emerging technologies.
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