RFCS-Projekt DevH2forEAF

Developing and enabling H2 burner utilization to produce liquid steel in EAF – DevH2forEAF

RINA Consulting – Centro Sviluppo Materiali SpA

Project duration
01.07.2021 – 31.12.2024

The steel production through electric arc furnaces (EAF) plays an increasingly important role in modern steelworks concepts. Today the electric arc furnace steel of the overall steel production in the EU-28 is 41.5 % (69 Mtons/year).

With 81 % in Italy and 61% in Spain, the production of EAF steel is significantly higher than steel production via the blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace route (not considering Member States having exclusively EAF steel production).

In the modern EAF, the contribution of the chemical energy for the scrap melting and refining is the range of 25-45% of the total energy required. The Natural Gas (NG) burners provide in the range of 40-80 kWh/t of energy.

It means that the production of 100 tons of steel requires the combustion of 370-750 Nm3 of NG with CO2 emission of 0.75-1.5 tons. The substitution of just 10% of NG with hydrogen in the whole steel European production will bring a remarkable reduction of CO2 emission up to 0.1Mtons/year.

The main objective of the present proposal is to set up a burner fed with hydrogen to replace NG. Addressing this goal, many other aspects will be considered. A comprehensive analysis of H2 hydrogen burners in EAF will permit to achieve the following aims:

  • design and realization of burners, able to work with NG/H2 mixture, up to 100% hydrogen. The burners will be designed and manufactured to work in severe environment, thus ensuring mechanical and thermal resistance in respect of EAF operative conditions
  • tracking the performance of hydrogen burner in replacement of methane or other carbonaceous fuels through combustion trials in pilot combustion chamber (before industrial installation)
  • investigation of H2 injection on steel quality (pick-up of H2) through
  • risk analysis for the definition of the correct actions and countermeasures when hydrogen is used in EAF process: safety issues related to storage, transport and injection must be identified and risks minimized
  • analysis the performance of hydrogen burner in replacement of NG through experimental trials at two industrial sites.

The results of this project will represent a milestone for the utilization of H2 in steelmaking and the first key step for the decarbonization of the steel industry.

further information:

This project receives funding from the Research Fund for Coal and Steel (RFCS) under the Grant Agreement number 101034081.