Steelmaking transition brings additional scrap demand

The technical transition of the steel industry away from classic blast furnaces will mean increasing demand for higher-grade scrap, according to Markus Dorndorf of plant builder Tenova.

“Long-term projections for the switch to CO2-neutral processes show that the future availability of scrap will only cover about 50% of the steel producers’ needs,” Dorndorf said at the scrap forum of German recycling association BVSE. In addition, not all steel qualities can be produced via the pure scrap-based route. This is because scrap is contaminated and, unfortunately, the level of contaminants is increasing, Kallanish heard from Dorndorf.

More and more products and components made of steel also contain other materials, for example electronic parts, motors and a variety of alloying elements, he said. “To completely remove these impurities is very time-consuming or involves high costs. Therefore, dilution with pig iron is necessary in the electric arc furnace to produce high-quality steel grades,” he noted.

Dorndorf reiterated that CO2 emissions are significantly reduced compared to the BF route by using processes like EAF steelmaking or production of hot-briquetted iron (HBI).

The scrap-based EAF route saves around 75% of the CO2 produced compared to the conventional blast furnace route and the DRI route (natural gas-based) around 50 to 60%, he said. With the use of hydrogen in direct reduction, the savings effect increases. Tenova, together with Danieli, is the supplier of the HYL/Energiron technology for DRI.

Christian Koehl Germany