When steel comes calling, hydrogen generation will be ready
The worldwide steel industry is one of the three major contributors to atmospheric carbon dioxide, responsible for 7-8% of the total carbon dioxide (CO2) atmospheric released every year. If mankind is to meet the challenge of limiting atmospheric temperature rises, we must control the CO2 burden. The steel industry is a promising place to start.
The steel industry uses carbon-rich coal and coke as fuels for heat and as reducing chemicals to liberate pure iron from the iron compounds in iron ore. But every molecule of carbon consumed in steelmaking, releases a molecule of carbon dioxide – meaning that for every ton of coal used, almost four tons of CO2 is released. Hydrogen can equally provide thermal energy and reducing reactant conditions in place of coal, while releasing beneficial water vapour in place of climate-affecting CO2.
The technology to use hydrogen in place of coal for steelmaking is well understood.
Three major challenges remain:
- Making enough hydrogen available for coal and coke displacement in the steel industry
- Making the hydrogen available at a price that produces steel that the market will buy
- Creating the customer pull to incentivize investment in green steel production
Dave Wolff has over 40 years of project engineering, industrial gas generation and application engineering, marketing and sales experience. He has been a sales and marketing leader for hydrogen generation technologies since 1999 and holds a degree in engineering science from Dartmouth College. He has an extensive background in large and small scale hydrogen generation, hydrogen distribution, storage and industrial utilization, as well as application knowledge across a diverse range of industries.