Voestalpine Secures Patent for DRI&HBI for Green Steel Production
Austrian steel maker Voestalpine has developed an industrial scale process for carbon neutral steel production without the use of fossil carbon and secured the intellectual property rights to the process from the European Patent Office. The patent is valid in all major European steel manufacturing countries and specifically covers the production of sponge iron, DRI & HBI, using green hydrogen and biogas in the direct reduction process. The process developed by Voestalpine uses green hydrogen and biogas in the direct reduction process. In addition to carbon neutrality, the process offers other advantages. For example, the biogenic carbon allows carburization of the sponge iron, for efficient melting in the electric arc furnace. The steel and technology Group will grant patent licenses for the carbon-neutral pre material used in steel production and plans to work with the license holders to transfer the necessary know-how.
Greentec Steel is the ambitious plan developed by Voestalpine to decarbonize steel production. Using a hybrid technology and electric arc furnaces would allow CO2 emissions to be reduced by around 30% in a first step to 2030. As a global benchmark in climate and environmental protection, Voestalpine is conscious of the ecological and social responsibility which comes with its Europe-wide intellectual property rights to climate-neutral steel manufacturing. The steel and technology group’s long term goal is to successively increase the share of green electricity and hydrogen used in the steel production process, together with tomorrow’s climate neutral pre materials DRI and HBI, to achieve the goal of carbon neutral steel production by 2050.
Europe’s climate goals are facing the steel industry with profound technological challenges. The political objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 can only be met with new production technologies.