It’s time to electrify the steel industry

It’s time to electrify the steel industry

If the industry will reach its goal of fossil-free steel, it needs to stop burning fossil fuels in its heating processes. Electrification is the most promising way of achieving this, according to Anders Björklund, President of Swedish heating technology company Kanthal.

Steel remains one of the world’s most useful and in-demand commodities, yet its production processes are energy-intensive and produce vast amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2). On a global scale, the steel and iron industries account for some 7 percent of CO2 emissions. Particularly emission-intensive are heating processes, which traditionally are fuelled by gas or oil. But Kanthal provides electric heating as a viable alternative.

“There are many misconceptions about electric heating. For instance, that it’s not able to reach certain temperatures. But with our technology, covering furnace temperatures up to 1500°C, you can electrify any heating process in steelmaking,” says Anders Björklund, President of Kanthal. “As we have proved, Kanthal has the technology, the thermal expertise, the resources and the global footprint to electrify all the highly energy-intensive heating processes.”

In addition to eliminating CO2 and NOx emissions and improving thermal efficiency, electric heating also provides precise temperature control. The reduction of noise and exhaust gases means a cleaner, quieter production process and work environment.

“While current heating technology is predominantly gas-fired, electric heating processes offer unique opportunities to reduce use of fossil fuels while increasing thermal efficiencies and potentially improving work environments”, says Dilip Chandrasekaran, Business Development Manager Steel, Kanthal and one of the speakers at the Sustainable Industrial Manufacturing Conference that will be held in Brussels, Belgium, June 28-29.

In the presentation, Chandrasekaran will outline benefits and advantages of electric heating within various steelmaking applications and show examples of the latest developments in this area, with specific focus on large-scale gas heating, including both modelling and experimental data.

More information about electrification of heating processes in steel production can be found on


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