Japan’s The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization, NEDO, had announced on 13 April 2022 that “The steel industry emits more CO2 than any other industry in Japan's industrial sector. In particular, manufacturing steel using the blast-furnace method results in high emissions, so drastic reductions in CO2 emissions are needed as a global warming countermeasure. In global terms, Japan's steel manufacturing technology is already state of the art, and Japan already conserves as much energy as possible by utilizing waste heat and by-product gases. Therefore, to achieve reduced CO2 emissions on a global scale, it is necessary to develop innovative steel manufacturing technologies.”NEDO said “Development of hydrogen reduction and other technologies phase II of step 1 started in FY2018. This item involves the development of technologies for reducing iron ore by amplifying the hydrogen included in the high-temperature coke oven gas generated during coking and using it as a partial substitute for coke. This item also involves the development of innovative CO2 separation and recovery technologies that utilize the unused waste heat of steel mills to separate CO2 from blast furnace gas.”NEDO said “During phase II of step 1, a 12 cuboic meters scale test blast furnace and an actual blast furnace will be used for partial verification, and then a numerical analysis model will be utilized to perform scaled-up verification of a hydrogen reduction-utilizing blast furnace. In addition, to reduce the costs of CO2 separation and recovery and utilize unused waste heat, verification of its practical application will be performed. Technology that makes it possible to ultimately reduce the CO2 emissions of steel mills by approximately 30% compared to the current level will also be developed.NEDO said “Also ferrocoke-utilization process technologies are being developed from FY2017. This item involves developing and demonstrating energy-conservation technology that makes it possible to reduce the amount of coke put into a blast furnace by utilizing the catalytic effects of metallic iron included in ferrocoke, which is generated as a result of the mixed hybrid molding and dry distillation of thermal coal and low-grade iron ore during the pig-iron manufacturing process that makes up part of the steel manufacturing process to dramatically increase the blast furnace reduction efficiency.”NEDO, had announced on 7 January 2022 that it will undertake the Hydrogen utilization in iron and steelmaking processes with total budget of JPY 193.5 billion to decarbonize the steel industry, to be implemented as a part of the Green Innovation Fund Project, launched by the Japan’s Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry, by creating a fund totaling JPY 2 trillion for NEDO. In this funded project, the public and private sectors share ambitious and concrete goals, and will continue to support the companies that tackle these goals as management issues for 10 years from FY2021 to FY2030, from R&D to demonstration to social implementation.Theme 1 - Development of hydrogen reduction technology using a blast furnace. To this end, the development of hydrogen reduction technologies that utilize on-site hydrogen will be addressed & determined through a performance verification test involving a test blast furnace of approximately 1/400th the size of an actual blast furnace with volume of 12 cubic metes. Based on the results of this test blast furnace, a 500 cubic meters class, actual blast furnace will be remodeled, and a blow test with normal-temperature hydrogen gas will be conducted. Furthermore, a technology will be developed to reduce the CO2 emitted from blast furnaces by 50% or more, by producing methane from the CO2 contained in the blast furnace exhaust gases and using it as a reducing agent.Theme 2 - Development of direct hydrogen reduction technology that reduces low-grade iron ore with hydrogen alone. A technology will be developed for the direct reduction method using low-grade iron ore by employing hydrogen instead of natural gas, which can reduce the CO2 emissions from direct reduction furnaces by 50% or more, as compared with the current blast furnace method. Specifically, after developing these elementary technologies in a small-scale test reactor that is 1/250th to 1/150th the size of an actual reactor, a medium-scale direct reduction furnace that is 1/25th to 1/5th the size of an actual furnace will be manufactured, and a performance verification test will be conducted. In addition, a technology will be developed to remove the impurities from electric furnaces that employ low-grade iron ore and to mass-produce high-grade steel. Specifically, to reduce the amount of phosphorus to 0.0015% or less and nitrogen to 40 ppm or less in the molten steel from electric furnaces, elementary technologies will be developed using a small test electric furnace with a throughput of 3-10 tonnes. Subsequently, a large-scale test electric furnace with a throughput of approximately 300 tonnes will be manufactured, and performance verification tests will be conducted.Nippon Steel, JFE Steel, Kobe Steel, and Japan Research and Development Center for Metals have planned the implementation of these development projects.