By Chris Ravencroft of Midrex Corp
In 2009, Direct from Midrex examined the subject of carbon emissions in the steel industry through a three part series that detailed CO2 savings through the production and usage of DRI and HBI. This article revisits this evolving issue and examines other aspects of the discussion including further reducing CO2 through carbon capture and storage (CCS).

It is perceivable that strong governmental intervention throughout the world regarding CO2 generation is likely on the horizon. Alternative solutions and better methodology are working their way into common steel industry practice as the threat of legislative action and financial penalties loom off in the distance. Ultimately avoiding production of CO2 through natural gas based ironmaking is still the most dramatic way to cut the iron and steel industry’s carbon footprint.

Carbon sequestration or carbon capture and storage (CCS) has the potential to further reduce overall emissions; however, at the moment this is not a viable solution for capturing CO2 from blast furnaces, which is the industry’s major emitter of the green house gas.

Systems are already available for natural gas based direct reduction facilities to capture CO2 emissions, but in order to gain potential carbon credits the installation must also transport and permanently store the gas.

Enhanced Gas Recovery is one way to store while creating a potential revenue stream; however, other business sectors will be exploring these opportunities as well. Looking at CCS as an immediate lucrative venture beyond acquiring carbon credits may not be realistic for the Iron and steel industry in the short term. Enhanced Oil Recovery will require infrastructure investment and continuing research. This is a very intense, complex and voluminous topic that will continue to evolve as government involvement increases.

The full paper published in 'Direct from Midrex' Q1 2012 is available as a download from: