How to Reduce CO2 Emissions in the Iron and Steel Manufacturing Industries

The iron and steel industries are some of the biggest industrial emitters of CO2, accounting for between 4% and 7% of the human made CO2 emissions globally and are therefore focusing heavily on reducing their CO2 emissions. Total global steel production is expected to grow by 30% by 2050, so understandably, there is a huge need to reduce CO2 emissions from this industry.

Over the last 30 years, the steel industry has reduced energy consumption per tonne by 50%, so there are limited simple solutions available and any potential for further mitigation in CO2 emissions might not have a strong impact.

The estimated CO2 emission reduction potential across the industry is approximately 27 Mt/year, which can be achieved by:

  1. Energy Optimizing (upgrade to newer technology to use energy more efficiently)
  2. Fuel Switching (using alternative cleaner, but more expensive fuel instead of coal)
  3. Recycling (using scrap steel as opposed to forging new steel resulting in lower grade steel)
  4. Training and Awareness (making companies and workers aware of the various ways to optimise use of machinery, equipment, processes and other steps to operate the production efficiently)
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Some emission-reducing opportunities can be cost-effective, profitable and result in other co-benefits (better environmental compliance, health benefits, etc.).

In the long run, a shift to more efficient electricity, new industrial processes, or CCS (Carbon Capture Storage) to mitigate process emissions could contribute to significant CO2 emission reductions.

Energy Optimizing is also about using the existing electricity more efficiently! Using the waste energy that occurs in the process will result in less energy purchased and lower overall CO2 emissions. Climeon is an expert in recovering energy from low temperature waste heat and it is our mission to help industries lower CO2 emissions while generating value for the business.