Can hydrogen make steelmaking greener?

Italian firm uses hydrogen/gas mix to heat the furnaces of a steel plant in Milan

The Big Zero report

Italians have launched what they claim is the world’s first test to try a natural gas and hydrogen blend in steel manufacture, in a bid to help the decarbonisation of the industry.

Italy’s energy infrastructure firm Snam has worked with the engineering consultancy RINA and the steel manufacturer GIVA Group to try a 30% natural gas/hydrogen mix in the forging processes.

Forging is the manufacturing process that shapes any metal.

The test was run at GIVA’s steel plant in Milan.

The consortium estimates the permanent use of this blend at the three of the company’s steel forging plants would save almost €800,000 (£690,000) and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 15,000 tonnes a year.

That is equivalent to the emissions created by 7,500 cars.

Marco Alverà Chief Executive Officer of Snam, commented: “Hydrogen can become in the medium-long term the solution to decarbonise the steel sector and all industries with an intensive consumption of energy, whose role in our economy is fundamental.”

Ugo Salerno, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rina, added: “This test is the concrete proof that Italy’s hydrogen production chain can significantly contribute to decarbonising complex and energy-intensive industries such as steelmaking.”

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