Researchers from the University of Birmingham have designed a novel adaptation for existing iron and steel furnaces that could reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from the steelmaking industry by nearly 90%.
The reduction is achieved through a ‘closed loop’ carbon recycling system, which could replace 90% of the coke typically used in current blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace systems and produces oxygen as a biproduct.
The novel recycling system captures the CO2 from the top gas and reduces it to CO using a crystalline mineral lattice known as a ‘perovskite’ material. The material was chosen as the reactions take place within a range of temperatures (700-800°C) that can be powered by renewable energy sources and/or generated using heat exchangers connected to the blast furnaces.
Under a high concentration of CO2, the perovskite splits CO2 into oxygen, which is absorbed into the lattice, and CO, which is fed back into the blast furnace. The perovskite can be regenerated to its original form in a chemical reaction that takes place in a low oxygen environment, and the oxygen produced can be used in the basic oxygen furnace to produce steel.
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