'Greater use of DRI technology' required for decarbonization goals, says report

'Greater use of DRI technology' required for decarbonization goals, says report

A new report from the The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) examines a number of new innovations in the industry that could accelerate the switch from traditional blast furnace technology to lower-emissions Direct Reduced Iron (DRI)-based steelmaking.

The report, titled Solving Iron Ore Quality Issues for Low-Carbon Steel, was released on 9th August.

DRI does not use metallurgical coal, but currently relies on high quality DR-grade iron ore (above 67% purity), which is in short supply.

However, report author Simon Nicholas points to new technology combinations that allow DRI processes to use the more plentiful, blast furnace-grade ore (typically 62-65% purity) in the production of low carbon steel, thereby removing the need for high-grade iron ore.

German conglomerate Thyssenkrupp is intending to replace the first of its blast furnaces with DRI plants combined with a submerged arc furnace (SAF) in 2025 allowing it to use blast-furnace grade iron ore in the process.

The second largest steel producer in the world, ArcelorMittal is also planning to implement a similar DRI-SAF combination.

In Australia, BlueScope steel is working with Rio Tinto on a similar combination of DRI with a melting step that would allow the use of Rio’s Pilbara blast furnace-grade iron ore in DRI processes.


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