How Charm Industrial hopes to use crops to cut steel emissions

The iron and steel industry generates about 4 billion tons of carbon emissions each year, accounting for about 10% of all energy-related climate pollution, according to a 2020 report by the International Energy Agency. This figure has risen sharply in this century due to rapid economic growth in China and elsewhere.

Extreme emissions and increasingly stringent climate policies in some areas, including Canada and the European Union, have begun to force some companies to find clean ways to produce these essential building blocks of the modern world.

Swedish joint venture Hybrit delivered the first commercial batch of Green Steel to Volvo last year. The partnership between steel giant SSAB, state-owned power company Wettenfall and mining company LKAB used a carbon-free hydrogen-dependent production method instead of coal and coke. Other companies are exploring the use of features that capture completely different electrochemical methods, such as the Boston Metal, with equipment that captures carbon dioxide.

Charm is still evaluating another approach. In the back corner of the company’s warehouse, employees are using a narrow metal contraction called a reformer to react with the company’s bio-oil with hot steam and oxygen. It produces what is known as syngas, a mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

Pour organic oil
Organic oil produced from the crop remains.

Charm Industrial

It could potentially be converted into a method of producing iron and steel.

The most common forms of steel production begin with the blast furnace, which heats the iron ore, limestone and coke, coal form to temperatures above 1,500C. The resulting carbon-filled metal, known as “pig iron”, then goes to another furnace, where oxygen is blown into it, impurities are removed, and other materials are added to produce different grades of steel.

Emissions occur at every stage of this process, including the extraction and production of iron, coal and coke; Combustion of fuel to run furnaces; And the chemical reactions that take place inside them.

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