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Maximising Existing Processes and Plant for Sustainable Steelmaking

In the current climate, where carbon emissions are expected to be reduced significantly by 2050, steel producers are looking for new alternative steelmaking processes to enable the step change necessary to achieve this target. 

Maximising Existing Processes and Plant for Sustainable Steelmaking
Whilst significant advances are being made today, and some producers are setting interim targets for 2030, there are still opportunities today to cut waste, improve efficiency and reduce emissions from existing processes.

According to worldsteel, on average for 2017, 1.83 tonnes of CO2 were emitted for every tonne of steel produced. The steel industry generates between 7% to 9% of direct emissions from the global use of fossil fuel and is responsible for 24% of total industry CO2 emissions and as the world’s population grows, demand is predicted to carry on increasing. 

If emissions reduction targets are to be reached to limit global warming down to 2 °C above pre-industrial levels, steel would also need to be emissions neutral.

Whilst steel companies are setting out individual plans to become carbon neutral, involving the introduction of new radical processes for extracting iron from ore and dealing with waste gases, these new technologies will not be adopted overnight and may take decades before making significant inroads into the emissions reduction target. In order to make these changes, the industry will need to commit large amounts into development and testing, before investing in capital equipment, which will add additional cost to producing steel and society would have to accept. Steel as a commodity will continue to be central to the modern economy so the challenge remains to deliver “green steel” at a competitive price. 

In the meantime, it, therefore, remains a challenge for all of us at every level to make sure that current processes are operating in the most efficient way possible. This is not always a result of investing in new equipment but will be down to making sure current best practices are being implemented with existing plant.

AMETEK Land provides a range of analytical instruments and solutions for the steel industry which are designed to suit many different applications where savings in emissions can be made, whether from better waste management to conserve raw materials and energy or improved temperature control to reduce product rejection rates. Accurate emission monitoring is also an essential factor in assessing the effectiveness of process improvements.
 

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