Concept and current state of CO2 ultimate reduction in the steelmaking process (COURSE50) aimed at sustainability in the Japanese steel industry
Since FY2008, Japanese steel manufacturers (four blast furnace steel manufacturers and one engineering company) have been promoting projects for the “Development of technologies for an environmentally harmonized steelmaking process” under COURSE50 (CO2 Ultimate Reduction in Steelmaking process by innovative technology for cool Earth 50), a national project commissioned by the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization. The goal of COURSE50 is to establish technologies which contribute to a mitigation of approximately 30 % in CO2 emissions at integrated steel plants by 2050. Two kinds of technologies are being investigated: (a) Intensified hydrogen reduction of iron ore using coke oven gas to curb carbon input in blast furnaces, and (b) Sequestration of CO2 in the blast furnace gas through the chemical absorption method and physical adsorption method by the effective utilization of unused waste heat in the integrated steel plants. In the case of (a), the main challenge is the conservation of global and local heat balances in the blast furnace. In the case of (b), the main task is improving the energy consumption of chemical absorption and physical adsorption by improving the agents and materials as well as the process.