SBB 14 November The earliest industrialisation of Hisarna, the smelting reduction technology being trialled at the IJmuiden steelworks, is 2020, Koen Meijer of Tata Steel told the recent German steel industry conference in Dusseldorf. Hisarna is a high risk/reward innovation, he said at the event attended by Steel Business Briefing.
On 18 April 2011 the process, which removes the need for coking and agglomeration, was piloted for the first time. After one failed start three successful attempts followed, and 60% of capacity was achieved for a short time, Meijer said.
The results of the pilot indicate that the process works as expected, though more operating hours are needed. Between December and February improvement proposals will be implemented and April-May next year will be the next campaign. Industrial scale demonstration will be carried out between 2014-2018, according to Meijer.
Hisarna is part of the Ultra-low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) project, which aims to cut CO2 emissions by 50% per tonne of steel produced. Without carbon capture and storage technology Hisarna can cut emissions by 20%, whereas with CCS it can achieve a reduction of up to 80%.
It not only has environmental benefits, Meijer said. Costs associated with coking and agglomeration disappear through Hisarna and you can use iron ores not currently suitable for blast furnaces and non-coking coal.
Steel production accounts for 5% of manmade CO2 emissions globally, and consumption is expected to double by 2050. Further reductions in CO2 need breakthrough technologies, not just energy saving, Meijer said.