Dr.-Ing Thomas Echterhof

Academic Director, Dept. for Industrial Furnaces and Heat Engineering at RWTH Aachen University

Abstract: Options to increase the sustainability of EAF steelmaking

Decarbonizing the steel industry does not stop at ironmaking, even so this process at the moment is accountable for the biggest share of CO2 emissions in the steel industry.

This presentation will have a closer look at EAF steelmaking and the options to increase sustainability in this process and the associated downstream processes. Options to reduce CO2 emissions from this steelmaking route that will be discussed include the use of biomass-based carbon sources and hydrogen as fuel in heating processes. Both options have been and are currently investigated and evaluated in a number of national and European projects at the Department of Industrial Furnaces and Heat Engineering at RWTH Aachen University.

In addition, the presentation also briefly addresses the issue of increasing circular economy in EAF steelmaking as another important pillar of sustainability.


Thomas Echterhof is academic director and deputy head of the Department for Industrial Furnaces and Heat Engineering at RWTH Aachen University, Germany. He received his PhD (Dr.-Ing.) in engineering science in 2010.

He is heading the research group on mass and energy balances with a special emphasis on the sustainability of electric arc furnace steelmaking including circular economy aspects. His main research interests include the optimisation of energy and resource efficiency and environmental impact of energy and resource intensive processes (such as EAF steelmaking).

He is also involved in teaching and is giving a lecture on electric arc furnace technology at RWTH Aachen University. He has authored or co-authored more than 70 scientific papers in journals and conference proceedings.