JFE Group Shares Environmental Vision for 2050
JFE Environmental VisionMining Magazine

JFE Group Shares Environmental Vision for 2050

JFE Holding last month unveiled Group’s Environmental Vision for 2050. In an investor present Japanese giant said “Carbon recycling blast furnaces are

JFE Holding last month unveiled Group’s Environmental Vision for 2050. In an investor present Japanese giant said “Carbon recycling blast furnaces are based on technology that uses green hydrogen to convert CO2 in blast furnace exhaust gas into methane for injection back into the blast furnace as a reductant agent. As a result, the carbon required for reducing iron ore is recycled, and total CO2 emissions are reduced. A problem when hydrogen is used as a reductant agent is that the endothermic reaction can result in insufficient heat, inhibiting the reducing reaction. The methane used as a reductant agent in carbon-recycling blast furnaces, meanwhile, drives an exothermic reaction in the blast furnace combustion area, so it is better than hydrogen when it comes to tackling the issue of furnace chilling. Also, injecting pure oxygen into a carbon-recycling blast furnace makes it possible to maximize the amount of methane fed in because the energy normally used to heat airborne nitrogen in the conventional blast furnace process can be used to heat the methane. Shifting to oxygen blast furnaces roughly halves the amount of exhaust gas because the blast furnace gas no longer contains nitrogen.”

JFE said “The COURSE50 initiative aims to reduce CO2 emissions by 30%, which comprises a 10% reduction in blast furnace CO2 emissions achieved by injecting hydrogen gas into furnaces and a 20% reduction via CCS. Hydrogen reduction is an endothermic reaction, so there is a limit on how much hydrogen can be blown into the furnace. The Super COURSE50 initiative aims to increase the reduction in blast furnace CO2 by heating external hydrogen before injecting it into the furnace. Hence, COURSE50, Super COURSE50, and carbon-recycling blast furnaces involve different technologies. But with blast furnaces being the main process used, a full range of super-innovative technologies need to be tried, including verifying which is superior, so all of these technologies are worth considering.”

JFE said “We should also consider combinations of each of these technologies. JFE Steel aims to reduce its CO2 emissions from the steelmaking process by around 10% by introducing ferro coke, a highly reactive form of coke, to cut down the amount of reductant agent used in its blast furnaces. JFE Steel is currently performing demonstration tests of ferro coke production at our Fukuyama district medium-scale facility. We believe the amount of CO2 that can be reduced by combining carbon recycling blast furnaces and ferro coke is another process-development factor to examine.”

JFE added “Since there are limits to how much funding and manpower any individual company can bring to bear, we will be developing the technologies in collaboration with other companies. JFE Steel intends to initially focus on developing carbon-recycling blast furnace (including methanation) technology as well as associated CCU technologies. We will be working with Japanese reactor manufacturer to develop methanation technologies, and we will be collaborating with RITE to develop CCU technologies. A broad range of discussion regarding carbon-recycling blast furnace is expected to be held, including on the issue of whether it will engage in joint development efforts or not.”

It added “Since there are limits to how much funding and manpower any individual company can bring to bear, we will be developing the technologies in collaboration with other companies. JFE Steel intends to initially focus on developing carbon-recycling blast furnace (including methanation) technology as well as associated CCU technologies. We will be working with Japanese reactor manufacturer to develop methanation technologies, and we will be collaborating with RITE to develop CCU technologies. A broad range of discussion regarding carbon-recycling blast furnace is expected to be held, including on the issue of whether it will engage in joint development efforts or not.”

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