Opening the Potential of Hydrogen in Steel Production

Feb 29, 2024 | Industry Insights

With increased focus on sustainable energy solutions, hydrogen emerges as a powerful contender. This focus is not just on powering cars and generating electricity but also on significantly increasing the sustainability of industrial processes.

Steel Industry Demand and Pressures

The steel industry faces increasing pressure to reduce its carbon footprint and embrace cleaner technologies. As such, steel manufacturers are exploring alternative options to traditional fossil fuels as emissions standards tighten and businesses prioritise sustainability. Hydrogen presents a compelling solution, offering not only environmental benefits but also economic advantages in the long term.

Understanding The Role of Hydrogen Steel Production

Traditionally, steel furnaces rely on fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to melt iron ore down to molten ‘pig iron’ or molten iron. Additional processing removes the extra carbon injected into this iron to produce steel, which is ironic. This reprocessing uses additional energy and extracts carbon gases from the pig iron.
To explain, Direct Reduction refers to a process where steel is derived directly from iron ore in a single step. Natural gas was the focus of this technology and does reduce the carbon footprint. However, with the push towards decarbonisation, hydrogen presents itself as a cleaner alternative.

This shift not only reduces carbon emissions but also aligns with sustainability goals within the steel industry.

South Australian GOVERNMENT Hydrogen Initiative

The recent announcement for the South Australian government to support Whyalla Steelworks with access to their new hydrogen facility highlights an opportunity to reduce steel’s carbon footprint. The news is a significant milestone in decarbonising the steel industry.

For more information about SA Government hydrogen deal with Whyalla Steelworks, click the link: