New steels could save more CO2, says German study


SBB 29 March Reductions in CO2 emissions from using new types of steel able to withstand high pressures and temperatures in power stations would significantly exceed the emissions from their production, says a new study.

The study, by the Boston Consulting Group, was done for the German steel federation. It shows that new steel types and uses could achieve one third of the CO2 emissions cut sought by the German government for 2020.

The use of these new steel products – some available now, and some under development – could cut German CO2 emissions by 74m t/y by 2020 compared to 2007. This exceeds the 67m t of CO2 emitted by its steel industry in 2007, Steel Business Briefing understands from the report.

The study identified eight possible steel applications, of which five are designated important (see table). Other potential uses include improved efficiency in transformers and in electric motors, and weight reduction in trucks.

In many of these applications, steel is the only material that could be used. The volumes they require would release around 12m t/y of CO2 – suggesting that any move by German industry to apply them would result in large net falls in CO2 volumes.

New steels – Main CO2 reduction possibilities: Million tonnes CO2/year saved

Overhaul of fossil fuel power plants 29.5
Further expansion of wind power 14.2
Weight reduction in cars 11.2
Expansion of combined heat + power 9.2
Further renewable energy sources 5.0

Source: German Steel Federation/Boston Consulting Group

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