A worker checks rolled steel sheet at HBIS Tangsteel

Winner of the Excellence in low-carbon steel production Steelie 2023

Although developing electric arc furnace (EAF) processes can effectively reduce the carbon emission intensity of steel production, scrap resources are the main limiting factor for China to increase the proportion of EAF steel (currently, approximately 90% of the 1 billion tonnes of steel production in China is produced by BF-BOF processes).

The development of direct reduced iron (DRI) combined EAF processes is an optional path, but the lack of resources (natural gas, NG) and higher costs have always been the limiting factors that are difficult to solve in China. HBIS Group, together with technology, engineering, and academic partners, took the lead in exploring the use of China’s rich coke oven gas (COG) resources to carry out an industrial-scale DRI-EAF production project, which has set a model for China’s steel industry.

This project is the world’s first industrial scale production of DRI using COG zeroreforming technology. It can make full use of the rich COG resources of the Chinese steel industry and independent coking plants, which makes it cost-effective; COG contains about 60% H2, and after self-reforming, the H2: CO can reach 8:1, which provides a research foundation for exploring pure hydrogen reduction in the future; A CONSTEEL EAF steelmaking line has been constructed simultaneously, considering production efficiency the DRI charging ratio was 30% to 40%, the production of high-quality special steel bars has been achieved and in the near future it will produce low-carbon emission and highquality automotive slabs through the upcoming slab casting line. With the cooperation of HBIS and its partners, phase I of the demonstration project with an annual output of 550,000 tonnes has now achieved stable production, with a daily output of 1,500 tonnes of DRI.

The completion of this project (COG based DRI – EAF) significantly reduced the carbon emission intensity of crude steel by about 65% compared to the original BF – BOF process (based on the worldsteel CO2 data collection methodology). This process sets an example for China’s integrated steel plants to transit into EAF processes that meet their own resource conditions, while it will also provide the foundation for further exploration of green H2 DRI production.

This project has received widespread attention from the China ron and Steel Association (CISA) and the Chinese steel industry, Iand has also received a special funding from the National Development and Reform Commission because of its demonstration effect.