Project nominated for the Excellence in LCA Steelie Award 2022

A life cycle approach has been used in HBIS to optimise the DRI (direct reduced iron) process design for preparing high-quality, clean raw materials from hydrogen-rich gas.

HBIS chose the automotive industry as the first market to apply their low-carbon steel to, in order to establish the “Carbon Connection” with the automotive industry.

HBIS, therefore, built a product matrix of low-carbon automotive steel with carbon emission reduction and cost-plus to help identify the value of low-carbon hydrogen-based DRI.

At the same time, they developed a carbon footprint platform which can be used by the automotive industry for their carbon emission data management.

According to the study, it is clearly identified that:

  • Using 10-20% DRI (hydrogen-rich gas reduced) to produce low-carbon automotive steel through the BF-BOF process is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 8-16%;
  • Using 30-50% green hydrogen DRI as a raw material to produce low-carbon automotive steel products through electric arc furnaces (EAF) is expected to reduce carbon emissions by 40-50% compared with the current BF-BOF process, and with the comprehensive replacement of renewable energy power generation, it will reach more than 90% of the carbon reduction potential (Near-Zero Emission);
  • It is calculated that the price of low-carbon automotive steel products produced by the new process will increase by 340-900 CNY (about 50-133 US$).

In general, by using LCA to promote the value realisation of the hydrogen-based DRI process, HBIS has solved the product premium brought by low-carbon transformation, balanced the relationship between economic and low-carbon development, created a win-win situation for steelmakers and the automotive sector while also contributing to China’s “Carbon Neutrality” strategy.