thyssenkrupp Steel has successfully completed the first phase of hydrogen tests on Blast Furnace 9 in Duisburg. In recent months, several tests on one of the 28 tuyeres of this blast furnace could be conducted, while complying with corona requirements, among them some long term tests. The company has gained important findings in these tests, enabling it to extend the tests to all tuyeres in the next step and to transfer this technology to large scale industrial use. The injection tests are part of the company’s climate strategy with which it intends to reduce its CO2 emissions by 30 percent by 2030.
On November 11, 2019, thyssenkrupp Steel was the first company globally to inject hydrogen into a blast furnace during operation. Hydrogen replaces coal dust as additional reducing agent. The goal is to reduce CO2 emissions – for unlike carbon, hydrogen does not react in the blast furnace to form CO2, but water. The project is funded under the IN4climate.NRW initiative launched by the state government, is scientifically supported by the BFI research institute and supplied with hydrogen by Air Liquide.
A particular focus of the first test phase was on findings on plant technology with the use of hydrogen. To this end, injection of hydrogen was tested on one of the 28 tuyeres of Blast furnace 9 at the Duisburg site. Based on continual data collection and analyses during the 24-hour tests, the team was able to gather extensive information, for instance, on the positioning of the hydrogen lance in the furnace, on flow and pressure conditions and on the interaction between elevated temperatures and plant technology. The collected data were used to optimize the hydrogen technology with each trial. It was also possible to reach the envisaged injection volume of about 1,000 cubic meters hydrogen per hour in the tests.
In the second test phase, the tests will be extended to all 28 tuyeres of the blast furnace, thus paving the way for large-scale industrial use. The focus of research will then be on the impact of hydrogen technology on the metallurgical processes in the blast furnace. The second phase is scheduled to start in 2022, somewhat later than originally planned due to the corona pandemic. While the hydrogen for the first test phase was delivered by truck, a pipeline is required for the quantities of hydrogen needed for the second phase.