Japan’s top steel manufacturer has successfully demonstrated a 33% reduction in CO2 emissions from its test blast furnace, marking a significant milestone in the steel industry’s journey towards sustainability. This achievement, realized through the innovative hydrogen injection technique in the Super COURSE50 blast furnace hydrogen reduction technology, sets a new global standard for environmentally friendly steel production.
Nippon Steel conducted a development test of the Super COURSE50 technology, which uses heated hydrogen to reduce CO 2, at a hydrogen reduction test furnace (inner volume 12 m3) in the Kimitsu area of East Japan Works in May 2022.
The project has been implemented since February, and has made steady progress in its development, confirming a 22% reduction in CO 2 emissions from the blast furnace itself, which is the highest level in the world.
This time, in tests conducted from November to December 2023, Nippon confirmed a 33% reduction in CO 2 emissions from the blast furnace itself, which is the world’s highest standard. In this test, when hydrogen reduction (endothermic reaction) is increased in place of carbon reduction of iron oxide (iron ore), heated hydrogen is used to maintain the heat balance inside the blast furnace and reduce blast furnace CO2 emissions .
“We are verifying the reduction effect. Furthermore, we will proceed with demonstration tests and work to speed up the establishment of Super COURSE50 technology (reducing CO 2 emissions by more than 50%) in large blast furnaces.”
In January 2022, it was adopted by NEDO (New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization)’s Green Innovation Fund, and in November 2023, it was decided to expand the fund. Kobe Steel, Ltd., and the Metal Materials Research and Development Center, a general incorporated foundation, have formed a consortium to proceed with this development.
In the “Nippon Steel Carbon Neutral Vision 2050” announced in March 2021, Nippon Steel added “high-grade steel production in a large electric furnace” and “reduced iron production using hydrogen” to “blast furnace hydrogen reduction” using this technology. We also aim to achieve carbon neutrality using three ultra-innovative technologies.
Nippon Steel always pursues the world’s best technology and manufacturing capabilities, and works in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the United Nations (“Affordable and Clean Energy” and “Industrial Energy”). We will continue to contribute to the development of society through these efforts.
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