The production of coke is quite an energy-intensive process, and the majority of this energy comes from fossil fuels. Steel production accounts for 5% of all global carbon dioxide emissions.
To reduce these CO2 emissions, several methods have been proposed. In this article, I lay out two such methods: using hydrogen as a reductant and using recycled steel.
The first proposal is to use hydrogen as a reductant instead of coke. Hydrogen can be produced through the electrolysis of water or by reforming natural gas. When used as a reductant, hydrogen produces significantly less CO2 than coke does. The use of hydrogen for the production of steel cuts carbon dioxide emissions by 1/3rd.
However, the full life cycle energy and environmental impacts of using hydrogen as a reductant have not been thoroughly studied. Thus, at this point, there is no recommendation about switching from coke to hydrogen as a reductant. However, it may be worth further investigating this option.
The second proposal is to use recycled steel in place of virgin steel. Recycled steel can be produced through a variety of methods, including electric arc furnaces and induction furnaces. Recycled steel has the same chemical composition as virgin steel, but it requires significantly less energy to produce. The energy needed to produce recycled steel is only 20% to 30% of the energy required to produce virgin steel.
Furthermore, recycling scrap metal instead of using virgin material has environmental benefits. For example, it prevents dangerous chemicals such as lead and mercury from entering our environment. It also reduces water pollution by removing harmful metals that may be present in scrap metal.
However, it is important to mention that recycling steel does not prevent CO2 emissions from the manufacturing process. In conclusion, using recycled steel in place of virgin steel is a good idea from both an environmental and economic perspective, but it will not affect reducing carbon dioxide emissions from steel production.
In conclusion, there are a few methods that can be used to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from steel production. These methods include using hydrogen as a reductant and using recycled steel. However, more research is needed to determine the full life cycle energy and environmental impacts of these methods.
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