Evaluation of Steel Mills as Carbon Sinks
Conference contribution, 2018
The iron and steel industry is one of the industries with the largest global contribution to CO2 emissions. Possible mitigation options include use of biomass and carbon capture and storage. Combining these two mitigation options, this study evaluates the potential for BECCS at an integrated steel mill in Sweden. The injection of pulverized biocoal from torrefaction or pyrolysis into a blast furnace and CO2 capture by amine absorption of the blast furnace gas leaving at the top of the furnace can reduce CO2 site emissions by up to 61 %, when accounting for negative emissions (biogenic CO2 being captured). The mitigation cost are estimated to 43 – 100 € per tonne CO2 avoided, depending primarily on biomass prices and the share of biomass used in the process (the study assumes a cost effective capture rate of 84%). Besides a reduction in CO2 emissions, the study highlights the potential for green by-products from injecting biogenic carbon into the blast furnace in the form of renewable electricity and CO2 neutral steel. The study concludes that it is theoretically possible to reach carbon neutrality or even net-negative emissions in an integrated steel mill, but this would require considerable process changes and high demand of biomass. Nonetheless, the implementation of BECCS based on feasible biomass injection volumes in integrated steel mills is interesting as a near-term and possibly cost-effective option for CO2 mitigation.