French multinational company which specializes in the production and processing of industrial minerals Imerys is finding solutions, working with customers, suppliers and other stakeholders to create a more efficient, less carbon-intensive steelmaking process. This work embodies the proactive approach taken through the SustainAgility program, which aims to minimize Imerys’ operational impact, while maximizing the benefits of its products. The goal is to catalyze change, not to hold it back. So, when customers come up against a challenge, Imerys will support them in finding the best solution.Imerys said “Improving the thermal efficiency of a steelmaking process is one of the quickest and easiest ways to start reducing its associated carbon emissions. The equation is simple. Since higher thermal efficiency means more heat is retained in the process, total heat generation is lower than in less-efficient processes, where heat losses are higher. This lowers the amount of fuel burned and, with it, carbon emissions. High-quality refractories play a key role in ensuring thermal efficiency, and are an area in which Imerys is a strong partner to the steel industry through its High Temperature Solutions business area, and notably its Calderys products & brand. It is also an area in which the company has recently expanded its range of solutions to better serve its steelmaking customers’ needs.”Imerys added “Steelmakers are also looking for more novel solutions to help them realize significant carbon emissions reductions, such as the use of hydrogen and natural gas. This includes both the injection of hydrogen into traditional blast furnaces to reduce the reliance on fossil fuels, as well as hydrogen- and gas-based direct reduction of iron ore.”Imerys said “Both approaches, however, pose challenges to the refractory. The high diffusivity of hydrogen and its reaction with silica at high temperatures impact the physico-chemical properties and load-bearing capacity of standard refractories. To support the adoption of these technologies, Imerys has partnered with various research institutions to better understand the interaction of hydrogen with refractory materials at high temperatures and so provide even more adapted refractory solutions that enable progress toward Decarbonization. Imerys also recognizes that environmental sustainability must go hand in hand with affordability. The company continuously works with customers to define what is needed, from both a technical and economic standpoint, in order to provide solutions that bring both environmental and economic benefits.”Imerys supports the iron & steel industry with a range of minerals, refractory solutions, and services covering all aspects of primary and secondary liquid steel processes. The main applications we serve range from safety and abrasion coatings to fluxes for continuous casting processes.