This new idea could reduce steel’s carbon emissions by 90%
Author: B. David Zarley
Researchers at the UK’s University of Birmingham have devised a device which could potentially be incorporated into the most common type of existing furnaces that they believe could reduce steelmaking CO2 emissions by 90% by creating a “closed-loop” of carbon recycling. A different idea: “The system we are proposing can be retrofitted to existing plants, which reduces the risk of stranded assets, and both the reduction in CO2, and the cost savings, are seen immediately,” Birmingham chair of chemical engineering and study author Yulong Ding said. According to the IEA, CO2 emissions have been rising in iron and steel for the past decade, driven by growing demand from around the world. As such, the IEA classifies the industry as behind schedule on climate goals, with “substantial cuts” required to get to net zero. The Birmingham team’s proposal, published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, captures the CO2 from the furnace’s “outgas” in a crystalline latticework, made from a material used in a kind of solar panels (called “perovskite”). The system then uses electricity to split the CO2 into carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen.