Intensive research is currently being conducted into modern and more climate-friendly processes in steel production. In an effort to find a solution that can be implemented in the short term, steel producers thyssenkrupp Steel and Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann are co-operating with TSR Recycling GmbH under the scientific leadership of VDEh-Betriebsforschungsinstitut GmbH.

The objective of the REDERS project, which stands for (Reduzierte CO2-Emissionen durch Erhöhung der Recyclingquote bei der Stahlherstellung – reduced CO2-emissions through increased recycling quota in the steelmaking process, is to strengthen the recycling cycle of iron and steel, while reducing the CO2 emissions of thyssenkrupp Steel and Hüttenwerke Krupp Mannesmann.

Funding to the tune of 6.4 million euros has been granted for this circular economy project aimed at conserving resources as part of the "Programm für rationelle Energieverwendung, regenerative Energien und Energiesparen – – Programmbereich “Innovation " (programme for rational use of energy, renewable energies and energy saving – programme section “Innovation”). The funding by the state of North Rhine Westphalia (NRW) is closely linked to the German state’s IN4climate.NRW initiative.

NRW Minister Pinkwart commented: “Transformation towards a future-oriented and climate-friendly industry is a task we must tackle with joined forces. With NRW’s initiative In4climate.NRW, we have started to co-operate early on with many innovative industrial companies in our state and are supporting them with targeted funding. Efficiency improvements have a direct impact on climate protection, especially in the local energy-intensive industry. I firmly believe that this project will lead the way for the entire industry“.

“The goal of the joint project is to produce a high-quality and certified product from conventional starting materials. This novel product will allow us to sustainably cover a significant part of the future raw material requirements of the European industry. In this way, we are making an important contribution to climate and resources protection and to achieving the targets under the European Green Deal“.

Bernd Fleschenberg, chief operating officer of TSR Recycling.

The innovative manufacturing process developed by TSR Recycling is claimed to produce a novel certified product from conventional starting materials, such as consumer scrap, which can be used in the blast furnace, and an increase in the proportion of recycled material in the converter process. CO2 emissions can thus be significantly reduced by increasing the share of recycled material in the steelmaking process, it is claimed.

“We need to make rapid progress in reducing CO2 emissions. Therefore, tkSE uses all possibilities to avoid CO2 in the conventional production process as well. The use of high-quality scrap-based recycled material in the blast furnace is an innovative step. We are glad that this approach is now promoted by the Ministry of Economics”.

Dr. Arnd Köfler, CTO thyssenkrupp Steel.

Through the use of the recycled product, the amount of injection coal and coke consumption in the blast furnace can be reduced: The use of one tonne of the recycled product can thus save about one tonne of CO2. In the converter, it would be a reduction of 1.7 tonnes of CO2 per tonne of recycled material used. Thereby, the project complements the transformation paths pursued by thyssenkrupp Steel and HKM towards climate-neutral steel production.

It is expected that regular use of the recycled material produced with the new process will begin in the autumn of 2022.