Researchers at the University of Birmingham have developed a new modification that can be applied to existing iron and steel furnaces, which can reduce carbon dioxide emissions from the steel industry by about 90 percent.
The research team achieved this through a “closed carbon process,” which, according to the university, can replace 90 percent of the coke used in today’s small scale machines. According to research published in the Journal of Cleaner Production, this process produces carbon dioxide as a byproduct.
“Current plans to phase out steel mills rely on decommissioning existing plants and introducing electric furnaces powered by renewable electricity. However, an electric furnace would cost more than $1 billion to build, making the transition economically unfeasible in the near future. to meet the Paris Climate Agreement. The system we are considering can be restored to the existing plants, which reduces the risk of waste products, and the reduction of CO2, as well as cost savings, are immediately visible, “said Yulong Dil, co-author of the study. press release.
According to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the production of iron and steel is one of the main causes of carbon dioxide emissions, which account for 9 percent of all global emissions.
Most of the world’s steel is produced using blast furnaces that can make iron from iron, and oxidation furnaces that turn it into iron, according to the University of Birmingham. The manufacturing process is very carbon intensive. In order to produce the metallurgical coke that is used in the preparation, the coal must be disposed of destructively in the coke oven – a process that produces carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide.
With a new method of recycling air, the researchers propose to take the carbon dioxide from the “high gas” that comes out of the furnace and reduce it to carbon monoxide using a “perovskite material.” Carbon monoxide can be recycled back into the furnace to increase its combustion temperature.
This is possible because in environments with high levels of carbon dioxide, the perovskite splits carbon dioxide, which can be fed into the furnace, and oxygen, which is absorbed by the material. The perovskite can then be returned to its original state using a reaction that occurs in low oxygen environments. The excess oxygen produced in this process can be used in an oxygen furnace to make iron.