Reducing CO2 Emissions in the Steel Industry


Learn about the collaborative effort between Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) and Paul Wurth (SMS group) in revolutionizing the steel industry. Leveraging omegadot's advanced simulation software, researchers have developed an innovative process to potentially reduce CO2 emissions.

The steel industry contributes significantly to global CO2 emissions, prompting efforts to find more sustainable production methods. In collaboration with KIT, the SMS group, and other partners, researchers have developed a novel process aimed at improving blast furnace technology to reduce CO2 emissions. omegadot’s modeling and numerical simulation software DETCHEM CHANNEL and CaRMeN were pivotal to the scale-up of the novel process to convert greenhouse gases CO2 and CH4 into synthesis gas, a mixture of H2 and CO, through homogeneous dry reforming.

DETCHEM CHANNEL accurately modeled the homogeneous reaction network process in tubular reactors. Meanwhile, the CaRMeN (catalytic reaction mechanism network) software was used to automate and graphically compare simulation and experimental results, and serves a user-friendly interface to the DETCHEM software.

The new process involves heating a gas mixture of coke oven gas (COG) and blast furnace gas (BFG) to high temperatures in a regenerative heat exchanger, similar to existing hot blast stoves used in the steel production process. The resulting synthesis gas can be injected into the blast furnace at the level of the shaft and/or tuyere, reducing coke consumption in iron production, potentially leading to a reduction in global CO2 emissions of about 0.5%.

So far the results of the pilot plant, integrated within a steel mill in Saarland, Germany, have been highly encouraging. Reaching a maximum local peak temperature of over 1721K during the synthesis gas production phase, researchers achieved an average conversion of about 97% for CH4 and over 94% for CO2, closely approaching the thermodynamic equilibrium values of over 99% and about 98%, respectively. Measured data obtained from the pilot plant aligned well with numerical simulations using a detailed elementary-step reaction mechanism.

This initiative represents a significant step towards transforming the steel industry, potentially setting a new standard for sustainability and environmental responsibility. For further information, please refer to the published research article titled “Dry reforming of steelworks off-gases in a pilot plant integrated into a steel mill: influence of operating parameters” in the journal Energy Advances.