Chinese steelmaker HBIS Group has made significant progress in its hydrogen metallurgy project, successfully producing direct reduced iron (DRI) products using hydrogen.
This achievement marks a crucial step in transitioning from carbon metallurgy to hydrogen metallurgy in the steel industry, with potential to replace high-quality steel scrap and reduce carbon emissions. HBIS Group’s innovative approach and commitment to decarbonization demonstrate its dedication to achieving carbon neutrality in the long term.
HBIS Group announced on its WeChat account that its 120-tonne hydrogen metallurgy project has achieved continuous production of DRI products with a metallization ratio of 94%. These products have the potential to serve as a viable alternative to traditional feedstock in electric arc furnace-based steelmaking. By utilizing hydrogen metallurgy, HBIS Group aims to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by approximately 800,000 tonnes per year compared to traditional blast furnace-based steelmaking.
In addition to the significant reduction in CO2 emissions, HBIS Group’s hydrogen metallurgy project captures around 125 kilograms of CO2 for every tonne of DRI produced. This demonstrates the potential for carbon capture and storage technologies to further mitigate the environmental impact of steel production.
One of the notable aspects of HBIS Group’s approach is the innovative use of coke oven gas, which contains a high percentage of hydrogen (between 55% and 65%). This strategic choice sets it apart from the commonly used natural gas-based DRI production methods adopted internationally.
HBIS Group’s collaboration with global miner BHP Group in exploring carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) technologies further highlights its commitment to sustainability and reducing the carbon footprint of the steel industry. By seeking innovative solutions and forging partnerships, HBIS Group is actively contributing to the development of greener and more environmentally friendly steel production processes.
Looking ahead, HBIS Group has set ambitious targets for carbon emissions reduction. The company aims to begin cutting carbon emissions after 2022, achieve a more than 10% reduction from peak emissions by 2025, and ultimately reach carbon neutrality by 2050. These goals reflect the steelmaker’s long-term commitment to sustainable practices and align with global efforts to combat climate change.