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April 26 International Industry Overview

April 26 International Industry Overview    

[“Electric furnace or converter?” – Prediction of the impact of different smelting processes on carbon intensity in China, Japan, South Korea, and OECD European countries in 2050] The steel industry is a carbon-intensive industry, and the carbon dioxide emissions of the steel industry in 2020 will account for about 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions. 7%. Most of the carbon dioxide emissions in the steel industry come from the reduction of iron ore in blast furnaces, which use coke to reduce iron ore through a chemical reaction between energy and carbon. The carbon intensity of the DRI-EAF process is lower than that of the conventional blast furnace-BOF process, and it is possible to further reduce the carbon intensity by using renewable energy to power the EAF. The use of hydrogen as the sole reducing agent in DRI production has been demonstrated on a small scale, while the use of renewable energy to produce electrolytic hydrogen (the hydrogen produced by the process of splitting water into oxygen and hydrogen using electricity) will be playing a key role in any effort to decarbonize steel production.

[Create a virtual steel plant and open a future technology research institute! POSCO explores a sustainable future] Recently, POSCO plans to use Metaverse (metaverse, virtual reality) and digital twin technology to build a virtual steel plant, which is likely to be used first to test “carbon neutral”. Core technology – hydrogen-based reduction ironmaking process.

Posco recently set up a special working group dedicated to the development of steel Metaverse solutions. The ultimate goal is to develop a hydrogen reduction ironmaking technology by 2040 and gradually replace the existing blast furnace process with a hydrogen-based reduction ironmaking process by 2050. The hydrogen-based reduction ironmaking process will not use coal to reduce iron ore, but instead, use hydrogen to directly reduce iron ore. Up to now, the hydrogen-based reduction ironmaking process is still a breakthrough technology, and huge R&D investment is required to achieve commercial applications. Posco estimates that the cost of developing this innovative technology will reach 30 trillion to 40 trillion won.

Using Metaverse and digital twin technology to build a hydrogen-based reduction ironmaking plant in virtual space can significantly reduce construction costs in the long run. That’s because there are no physical limitations to this approach, making it easier and more convenient to experiment with it, and doing the necessary costing almost in real-time. Even if the simulation results fail, the risk burden is small because the entire experiment is performed in virtual spaces.

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