未来颠覆性的炼钢技术

Baris Çiftçi博士

Baris Çiftçi博士

原料市场研究主管

未来颠覆性的炼钢技术| 2017年5月3日

近期我参加了在土耳其伊斯坦布尔举办“第五届国际钢铁行业与下游行业关系大会”,并在会上做了全球钢铁行业未来前景的发言。我的发言主要聚焦全球废钢供应的增长情况及创新的炼钢技术,这些炼钢技术将可能颠覆未来的炼钢工艺。

2016年,全球钢铁行业消耗了12亿吨的高炉生铁(铁水)、5.2亿吨废钢及7500万吨直接还原铁,生产出16亿吨粗钢。

全球废钢需求在过去几年中停滞不前,废钢占炼钢金属需求的份额下降,这反映了全球粗钢生产电弧炉炼钢的比例出现下降,电弧炉炼钢比例约占25%,主要使用废钢生产粗钢。

我们的预测指出全球废钢供应- 2016年可通过收集及熔炼的废钢总量约为7亿吨。全球废钢供应量预计在2030年达到10亿吨,这表明钢铁行业在中长期可相应增加废钢的使用量。使用废钢炼钢对环境有利、保护自然资源、降低碳排放并支持了循环经济模式的发展。

钢铁行业在过去50年间在改善环境足迹取得有效的进展。例如,世界钢铁协会收集的数据显示,在1960-2015年间,全球钢铁行业的能耗强度,即每吨粗钢能耗,下降约为60%。

然而,作为资源密集型行业,其约占全球总二氧化碳排放的7%,钢铁行业面临更加严峻的挑战,须减排方面做出更大的努力。

钢铁行业积极投资创新及突破性技术,以改善钢铁行业的环境绩效及对炼钢材料的需求。一项潜在突破性技术是在炼钢过程中使用氢代替碳,以直接降低二氧化碳排放,这一技术将极大改变对炼焦煤的需求。

还有其他的技术聚焦工艺整合以取代传统炼钢工序,如炼焦和铁矿石造块,采用这种技术将大量节省能源及降低二氧化碳排放,及对炼焦煤和铁矿石市场产生重大影响。

我有兴趣听取您对废钢供应增长带来的影响及未来炼钢技术发展的见解。

  • 1

    At what stage of production is hydrogen used "instead of carbon"?

    avatarserge Vinograd2017-5-4 0:58:19Reply

  • 2

    As iron occurs only as iron oxides in the earth’s crust, the ores must be ‘reduced’ to iron. Coke reduces iron ore in blast furnaces to molten iron, called ‘hot metal’. The hot metal is then processed in basic oxygen furnaces to produce liquid steel. The idea behind hydrogen steelmaking is to partially replace carbon with hydrogen (produced from ‘clean‘ electricity ) for iron ore reduction, which would result in a significant reduction in CO2 emissions from ironmaking.

    avatarBARIS CIFTCI2017-5-4 9:43:25Reply

  • 3

    Blogs like this are really important to demonstrate the potential of our industry. At the same time, let's not mislead our customers or investors into thinking that if they ask us to increase the scrap content in our steel this will create a low carbon economy. We can only use what is available, and there is unlikely to be enough to really change the game for some time to come.

    avatarAnnie Heaton2017-5-17 18:45:44Reply

  • 4

    Hello Annie - Many thanks for your comment. As you rightly pointed out, our aim is to assess, demonstrate and discuss the potential of our industry. We have developed a scrap availability estimation model in order to have a clearer understanding of the global steel industry's recycling potential. Estimation of scrap availability is a complex task, which is very data and assumption intensive. We are currently supporting many academic studies in the area of recycling and life cycle assessment. We are sharing our data, knowledge and assessments openly so that we can have a structured, informed and fruitful discussion within the industry as well as with all of our stakeholders. It is widely known that steel is the material that is recycled the most. And our estimates show that more than 80% of economically recoverable and recyclable, and sufficient quality scrap is being recycled every year. This is a ratio that is probably higher than those for most other materials and hence a ratio that we should all be proud of. I agree with you and do not expect to see significant changes in scrap use soon as the increase in scrap availability will be very gradual, and mainly come from the developing countries. Nevertheless in the long-term, we might expect to see the scrap consumption to grow considerably, particularly in the developing countries, in line with the increase in availability.

    avatarBARIS CIFTCI2017-5-29 16:53:51Reply

  • 5

    You mention hydrogen use for iron ore reduction and refer to the voestalpine project. Is this a one-timer or are you aware of other businesses looking into that possibility?

    avatarValentin Vogl2017-6-16 9:54:24Reply

  • 6

    Hello Valentin - Thank you for your question and interest. SSAB’s HYBRIT project and Salzgitter’s SALCOS project are other examples of initiatives focusing on the use of hydrogen to partially replace carbon in metallurgical processes.

    avatarBARIS CIFTCI2017-6-16 10:33:08Reply

  • 7

    Which role do you think ULCOS had in this? Hydrogen was not part of any of the proposed breakthrough technologies, but now it seems to have gained traction. Has ULCOS failed?

    avatarValentin Vogl2017-6-20 9:51:51Reply

  • 8

    Hello Valentin - Thank you for your comment. The ULCOS programme consists of several projects, which have reached different stages of development. The HIsarna project, for example, is an ULCOS initiative focusing on process integration, and has reached the planning stage for the construction of a demonstration plant. In my blog article, I have mentioned the initiatives focusing on the use of hydrogen to replace carbon and the initiatives focusing on the process integration. There are other initiatives focusing on carbon capture and usage, such as ArcelorMittal's Steelanol project.

    avatarBARIS CIFTCI2017-6-22 11:24:47Reply

  • 9

    Excellent insights Baris. In addition to your recommendations, a few things that come to the top of my mind with regards to improving the energy efficiency are: 1. Adaptation of EAFs installed with scrap preheating technologies in steelmaking can play a significant role in reducing the specific energy consumption. A few examples include proprietary technologies developed by Tenova, Siemens VAI (Now Primetals) etc. 2. Usage of hot metal in the range of 30-50% in combination with solid charge to EAF has also reported significant benefits. However, this practice demands an excellent operations team. 3. Use of a tunnel furnace for hot charging of semis directly to the rolling mills also enables significant energy reductions by eliminating the requirement of a reheating furnace in rolling mill shops. 4. Usage of iron oxide pellets in combination with Formed/Ferro coke can also bring down the specific energy consumption in the Iron Making Zone and improve the raw material security by lowering the pressure on high-grade lump ore and metallurgical coking coal requirements. Additionally, a higher usage of Pulverized coal injection (PCI) in excess of 100 kg/tonhotmetal , installing a BPRT or TRT in BF operations can also significantly bring down the coke rate and specific energy consumption. 5. The usage of hydrogen as a reductant has already been in vogue due to steam injection in Blast Furnaces. However, the major challenge that remains is controlling this reaction and maintaining the Raceway Adiabatic Flame Temperature (RAFT). Further, we need to mitigate a few risks with regards to widespread scrap utilization. These risks may inter alia include: 1. Widespread utilization of scrap seems commercially viable in US or European markets that have access to high-quality segregated scrap primarily owing to the high penetration of Automobiles/SUVs. However, this remains a challenge for steel producers in countries such as India or other emerging economies. 2. It may be difficult to produce certain critical grades through scrap based steel making due to the inclusions arising because of long term previous application. This may lead to additional pressure during secondary metallurgy operations. In addition to the above, I firmly believe that the need of the hour is to turbocharge the development and commercial deployment of technologies such as ULCOS, ITMk3 etc. We may also think of increased deployment of Carbon capture and storage in Steel units and its further usage in Enhanced oil recovery.

    avatarSHANTANU RAI2017-8-4 18:46:14Reply

  • 10

    How about the electrode issue, which is a major concern right now. When EAF's start to run out of electrodes what happens then.

    avatarKarun Mittal2017-8-5 11:27:22Reply

  • 11

    Hello Karun - Thank you for your comment. Electrode availability has indeed been a concern recently. But I do not expect the electrode availability to be a long-term issue. The electrode market went through a period of consolidation during the last few years amid weak demand and a fierce competition environment. Reportedly Chinese authorities' recent efforts to close backward and polluting facilities have also resulted in a reduction in the country's electrode production capacity. This year, better operating environment for EAFs globally resulted in an increase in the demand for electrodes and the shortage we have been observing recently. We should see additional supply coming to the markets and a gradual narrowing down of the gap between supply and demand.

    avatarBARIS CIFTCI2017-8-8 9:05:07Reply

  • 12

    Hello Shantanu - Many thanks for your comments. We also believe that the global steel industry can improve its energy efficiency and environmental performance significantly by progressively making greater use of best available techniques and technologies. On this front worldsteel carries out various studies to benchmark and analyse the steel industry’s performance. Thanks to these studies companies can compare their results against benchmarks and identify the areas for improvement. I also agree with your comments about the challenges we are faced with in the development of new technologies and increasing the scrap use. I believe that in the future we will also see improvements and innovations in scrap sourcing, sorting and refining, and control of scrap melt chemistry. Such improvements and innovations might help resolve some of the problems associated with increased scrap use.

    avatarBARIS CIFTCI2017-8-8 9:33:22Reply

  • 13

    Hello Dr Baris Çiftçi You state that world steel production is still using carbon. I have some questions: 1. Is it true that steel production is using cleaner energy and in a highly efficient way? 2. Do you think steel scrap will make a big market ?

    avatarblues2017-8-30 10:09:20Reply

  • 14

    Hello - Thank you for your question and interest. Regarding your first question, we know that the global steel industry has improved its energy efficiency and environmetal performance considerably. However, we also know that there are significant differences between the performance of best performing steel production facilities and others. Hence we believe that, in the near term, the global steel industry can make significant energy and emission savings through modernization and making greater use of best techniques and technologies. We also believe that worldsteel and steel industry associations will be playing key roles in this process through benchmarking studies and establishing platforms for sharing of best practices. Regarding your second question, we estimate that about 600 million tonnes of ferrous scrap were recycled in 2016, and global exports of ferrous scrap stood at about 100 Mt. We know that scrap consumption will probably grow, particularly in emerging countries such as China, thanks to growing scrap availability. However, it is difficult to estimate the size of the global scrap exports market in the future. Even if there will be some growth, it will probably remain as a small market, when compared with seaborne iron ore and metallurgical coal markets.

    avatarBARIS CIFTCI2017-9-6 13:25:02Reply

  • 15

    Very interesting, thank you!

    avatarFrancesco Grillo2018-5-17 7:00:06Reply