Wear resistant steel production has long been associated with high carbon emissions, with each tonne of steel yielding 1.8 tonnes of CO2, amounting to a staggering 9% of global greenhouse gas emissions. While using scrap steel as a substitute for iron ore and coke can help reduce CO2 emissions, it falls short of meeting the world’s steel demand. In response, innovative and sustainable methods are being explored to revolutionize the industry, many of which involve the replacement of coke. Here’s how Titus Steel is leading the way with its wear resistant steel production.
How is Wear Resistant Steel Actually Made?
Steel production has traditionally relied on the intensive use of fossil fuels and high-temperature blast furnaces, where the mixture of coke and iron ore is exposed to air heated to over 1,200 degrees Celsius. The carbon in the coke reacts with oxygen to produce CO (carbon monoxide), which then reacts with the oxygen in the ore, liberating iron in a process known as reduction. The heat generated by this process can reach temperatures of up to 1,538 degrees Celsius, causing the liquid iron/metal to flow out the bottom of the furnace.
Yet, while this method has proven effective in producing steel, it has also resulted in significant environmental impacts. The CO2 and other gases, including nitrogen, are released into the atmosphere, contributing to global warming and climate change.
What Are the Alternatives?
Amidst growing concerns over the environmental impact of traditional steel production methods, the industry has been exploring a range of innovative solutions to revolutionize the way we make steel. One promising approach involves replacing coke with hydrogen, resulting in a reduction process that yields water instead of CO2.
However, despite the significant environmental benefits of this method, it faces many challenges, such as the lack of existing infrastructure for the production, transport, and storage of hydrogen, compounded by competing demands for the gas, such as in the automotive industry.
Another promising solution involves eliminating coke altogether by introducing CO (carbon monoxide) directly into the blast furnace. This gas is derived from capturing and recycling the CO2 produced in the furnace, effectively closing the loop on emissions. The recycled CO2 is then split into CO and oxygen, with the oxygen being used in a secondary furnace to optimize the carbon-to-iron ratio and produce the desired grade of steel.
Although complex, this approach represents a crucial step towards cleaning up the steel industry, which has long been associated with significant environmental impacts.
The Titus Steel Difference in Wear Resistant Steel
Titus Steel is working with its major steel suppliers to encourage and reduce the carbon footprint of the wear resistant steels used by the company and its customers. In the near future, all of our wear resistant steels, such as ENDURA, ENDURA Dual, Manganese, AR 500 and AR 600, will be produced with zero CO2 emissions. While this may come at a higher cost, investing in sustainable products is a crucial step towards protecting our planet and securing a more sustainable future for generations to come.
About Titus Steel
The Wear & Impact Steel Specialists
Since 1957, Titus Steel has been serving governments, companies, and engineers across North America with exceptional wear resistant steel products. Our solutions and products enable our customers to reduce down time, increase payload, and protect employees. We are driven by quality and innovative solutions.
We work hard to build lasting relationships with our suppliers and our customers and have offices as well as warehouses in Toronto, Ontario and Cartersville, Georgia.
To learn more about how Titus Steel can help you, contact us today.