15.06.2021. voestalpine has developed an industrial scale process for carbon-neutral steel production without the use of fossil carbon. For that, the Group secured the intellectual property rights to the process from the European Patent Office. The patent is valid in all major European steel manufacturing countries and specifically covers the production of sponge iron (DRI or HBI) using green hydrogen and biogas in the direct reduction process.
Achieving climate neutrality by 2050 only possible with new production technologies
Europe’s climate goals are facing the steel industry with profound technological challenges. The political objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 can only be met with new production technologies. As a global benchmark in climate and environmental protection, voestalpine is conscious of the ecological and social responsibility which comes with its Europe-wide intellectual property rights to climate-neutral steel manufacturing.
“We are convinced that transforming Europe’s steel industry is only possible when we all pull together. We are focusing on cooperation and dialogue with all stakeholders,” says Herbert Eibensteiner, Chairman of the Management Board of voestalpine AG.
The process developed by voestalpine uses green hydrogen and biogas in the direct reduction process. In addition to carbon neutrality, the process offers other advantages. For example, the biogenic carbon allows carburisation of the sponge iron, for efficient melting in the electric arc furnace. The steel and technology Group will grant patent licenses for the carbon-neutral prematerial used in steel production and plans to work with the license holders to transfer the necessary know-how.
greentec steel is the ambitious plan developed by voestalpine to decarbonise steel production. Using a hybrid technology and electric arc furnaces would allow CO2 emissions to be reduced by around 30 % in a first step to 2030. The steel and technology Group’s long-term goal is to successively increase the share of green electricity and hydrogen used in the steel production process, together with tomorrow’s climate-neutral prematerials DRI and HBI, to achieve the goal of carbon-neutral steel production by 2050.
voestalpine is continuously investing in the research & development of new product solutions and processes. Over 700 voestalpine employees at more than 70 Group companies worldwide are researching, testing, and bringing new product solutions to the market on an ongoing basis. The Group has already registered more than 3,200 patents for technologies and products, and current research is focused on digitalisation and sustainability.