EU steel production is engineering intensive and is extremely advanced. The sector is confronting increasing competition from non-EU states. The industry has a strong competitory place on domestic markets, peculiarly in high value added merchandises. The EU steel industry is presently bring forthing high quality merchandises for their downstream user. However, the EU steel industry faces the undermentioned challenges: cost and handiness of natural stuffs and increasing stringent regulations on CO2 emanations, bar and control of pollution and waste. In order to maintain the current place of the market and to confront these challenges, the EU steel industry should concentrate on: beef uping the capacity to introduce and pull off sustainable development of the sector, bettering the efficiency and the usage of natural stuffs to be competitory where there will be a turning deficit of natural stuffs and lifting pricesinvestment in clean engineerings, bettering energy efficiency, decrease of CO2 emanations and energy costs.

Given the important decreases in C emanations made in recent old ages, bing engineerings have reached their bounds, which is small room for farther betterment to farther cut down these emanations. An increased attempt in research and development is necessary for the development of new environmental engineerings to bring forth steel. Complete research is conducted within the Steel Technology Platform ( ESTEP ) . ULCOS plan ( Ultra Low CO2 steelmaking ) is the most ambitious planetary steel industry in order to develop advanced engineerings to cut down C emanations by 50 % in the long tally. Advanced merchandises and their applications in steel significantly contributes to salvaging energy and cut downing CO2 emanations. European steel industry is developing and bring forthing modern stuffs such as Advanced High-Strength steel, which is indispensable to cut down the weight of autos and trucks. Advanced steel merchandises besides play an of import function in bettering efficiency in energy production and renewable energy development.

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1. Introduction

The entire steel production was about 1,5 billion tones in 2011. The World Steel Association expects that production degrees to transcend 2,6 billion tones by 2050 in order to run into the turning demand for steel in the universe.

Iron and steel have been identified as major energy consumers in the industrial sector and have been recognised as holding significant nest eggs potency. The European steel industry succeeds to do great betterments over the last 10 old ages in energy decrease and dematerializing and the current engineerings seems to make their bounds here.

Still, the chief concerns about steel industry are energy ingestion, recycling and demand for new engineerings that can cut down the CO2 emanations.



The resources used in the steel industry are, except big sums of coal consumed for the production of steel, electricity and natural gas that are consumed by steel Millss. The energy input of an incorporate steel production installation comes for approximately 83 % from coal, about 10 % from electricity and 7 % other ( ESTEP, 2009 ) .

The energy consumed in the blast furnace histories for up to 75 % of the energy content of the coal, which is used in the signifier of coke to cut down chemical and fuel support load oven. Other important countries of energy usage are the sinter and coking workss and downstream procedure phases. ( World Steel Association, 2008 ) .

Primary steel is produced by cut downing Fe ore to press and press in steel processing and histories for about 75 % of universe steel end product. Energy demands for primary steel production varies from 19.8 GJ / metric ton to 41.6 GJ / metric ton. The exact figure depends on the steel merchandises and engineering. The energy strength values for the chief primary production paths can be found in Table 1.

Table 1. The energy strength norms for the

production mobs

Production Route

Energy Intensity

BF-BOF/Basic Oxigen Furnace

19.8 – 31.2 GJ/tonne

BF-OHF/Open Hearth Furnace

19.8 – 31.2 GJ/tonne

DRI-EAF/Direct Reduction Iron

19.8 – 31.2 GJ/tonne

EAF/Electric Arc Furnace

19.8 – 31.2 GJ/tonne

Secondary steel histories for approximately 25 % of universe production ( 45 % of the production in Europe ) and is produced by recycling steel in an electrical discharge furnace ( EAF ) . This production path reduces the energy-intensity to 9.1 – 12.5 GJ/tonne. However, because of the lastingness and long life of steel there is non plenty recycled steel to run into future demand utilizing merely the secondary steelmaking method.

Fig.1 Steel production methods portion

Beginning: World Steel Association, 2008

As energy constitutes a big part of the production costs of steel ( 20-40 % ) , makers have strived to better efficiency of the production process. , some theoretical facets of this can be find in Lean Sigma Methodology ( A.Mital, 2010 ) . Consumption of cut downing agents has been drastically reduced in the past decennaries. In this manner, the most efficient steelmaking procedures have optimised energy usage by heightening control of each measure of the production concatenation. Improvements that have been made are for illustration the development of new detectors for mensurating majority belongingss, patterning procedures and increasing the productiveness of the industrial tools. Additionally, to the full recycling waste gases from the blast furnace, coke oven and basic O furnace ( BOF ) reduced the demand for extra dodo fuel resources. They are used as a direct fuel replacement or for the internal coevals of electricity and typically lend 40 % to entire energy. These procedure betterments and the addition of recycling have led to a decrease of approximately 50 % in energy and 60 % in CO2 required to bring forth a metric ton of petroleum steel over the past 40 old ages ( ESTEP, 2009 ) .

Besides increasing efficiency, steel merchandises have offered nest eggs over the life rhythm of the terminal merchandises. For illustration, Advanced High Strength Steels ( AHSS ) cut down the sum of steel used in autos doing them 9 % igniter, which leads to a decrease in fuel ingestion and nursery gas emanations. Application of Zn coating will protect steel framing of edifices or Bridgess from corrosion and can increase the life anticipation to 377 old ages.

The most efficient steel factory in Europe operates now near to its physical bounds sing the energy ingestion and betterment borders for energy nest eggs are hence merely 10-15 % – if we are sing that the best performing artists would non better their energy efficiency. On the other manus, using Intelligent Manufacturing will optimise all the betterments made in different parts of the supply concatenation. Intelligent Manufacturing consists of incorporate control of the planetary supply concatenation supported by IT systems and with the add-on of intelligence provided by patterning, diagnostic tools, unreal intelligence and expert cognition.

This construct can still better quality, merely in clip bringing, production degrees and increase nest eggs in energy and natural stuffs by looking at the whole supply concatenation and incorporating all the betterments made by different persons in different sections. Medium-term energy efficiency betterments can besides be achieved through engineering transportation to less efficient steel workss. Additionally, with the bing engineerings energy nest eggs can be increased through better recovery of waste heat, including low temperature heat and heat recovery outside the works. An illustration is off-heat gaining control, which could be used in territory warming grids.

However, to accomplish major alterations in the manner steel is made in the long term, breakthrough engineerings are needed. Therefore, the European Steel Industry has created the Ultra Low CO2 Steelmaking ( ULCOS ) pool, conveying together 48 administrations from 15 states to develop advanced engineerings which will potentially cut down CO2 emanations. In the first stage research has led to 80 possible engineerings. In February 2008 the four best engineerings have been selected to be transformed into a all-out industrial theoretical account in the presentation stage. The most promising engineering is the Top Gas Recycling Blast Furnace ( TGR-BF ) with Carbon Capture and Storage ( CCS ) . The other proposed engineerings are Hisarna smelter engineering with CCS, ULCORED with CCS and Alkaline Electrolysis. All of these engineerings cut down or extinguish the usage of coal in the production procedure and have the potency of cut downing CO2 emanations by 50 % . The funding of the programme comes for 60 % from the spouses ; the Research Fund Coal Steel contributes the staying 40 % . In the first stage ˆ 80 million has been invested in the research. The expected costs of the presentation stage are ˆ 700 – 800 million.


Natural stuffs used for the production of primary steel are Fe ore, limestone and steel bit, which are widely available in natural resources. Material that serves as an input for the steelmaking procedure, but do non organize portion of the terminal merchandise is coal. The coal is cooked, ensuing coke, the primary cut downing agent of Fe ore. World militias in coking coal are estimated to last for 100 old ages ( World Steel Association, 2008 ) . Natural stuffs used for the production of secondary steel are recycled steels and/or direct reduced Fe ( DRI ) and electricity.

Fig.3 Simplified steel doing process mass and energy balance diagram

Beginning: American Iron and Steel Institute, 2005

In order to better the natural resource efficiency, the steel industry aims at replacing the usage of at-risk stuffs or those that have a major environmental impact. To cut down CO2 emanations and air pollution fossil-fuel based cut downing agents need to be replaced by renewable beginnings, such as biomass. Research of the ULCOS programme found a possible replacing of coal in wood coal, as it is extremely reactive, but is low in drosss such as sulfur ( SOx ) , Nitrogen ( NOx ) and ash. Further probe has focused on the supply and sustainable usage of biomass and the procedure of change overing biomass into wood coal. At the minute the work has started to optimize the wood coal production in line with the steel industries demands. NOx emanations can besides be reduced by utilizing advanced burners or exhaust gas intervention installations, to diminish SOx emissions the steel works can utilize desulfurisers.

Another illustration is the utilizations of bio-based stuffs witch assure that much CO2 stays in the merchandise itself alternatively of being released into the ambiance. If the stuffs will be composted or digested after the merchandise life, this would hold a good consequence on the natural resources. The natural resource efficiency can be obtained by utilizing alternate stuffs to replace stuffs that have a high hazard in supply deficit.

Because of the high temperatures needed for steel production, H2O is largely used for non-contact chilling of the merchandise. The usage causes no impairment in quality and the H2O can be redirected to the watercourses. In some instances salt H2O is used for chilling intents. Water used for cleansing and rinse is frequently treated and used once more.

Steel is 100 % reclaimable merchandise – it can be recycled over and over once more without loss of belongingss. All the steel in gathered end-of-life merchandises is recycled, irrespective of the per centum of steel in the merchandises. Steel hence contributes significantly to the long-run preservation of cardinal resources for future coevalss. About 45 % of entire EU steel production is recycled steel bit ( EUROFER, 2011 ) . In the production procedure recycled steel requires about a 3rd of the sum of energy needed to bring forth steel from Fe ore, due to the chemical energy required to cut down Fe ore to press utilizing cut downing agents. In 2006 459 million metric dozenss ( mmt ) of steel was recycled worldwide.

In Europe 90 % of used merchandises are recycled as bit in the electrical discharge furnace to bring forth new steel ( ESTEP, 2009 ) . However, due to the huge growing of steel ingestion and the long life of steel merchandises ( an norm of 40 old ages ) , a more realistic portion of recycled bit traveling into the steel production is about 45 % . If, in theory, the production of steel would stagnate, it would take 40 old ages to make a portion of 90 % . Taking into history the economic growing in emerging economic systems every bit good as the population growing, the ideal of bring forthing steel chiefly from recycled stuff is unrealistic.

Against the background of increasing competition for stuff resources and resource scarceness within Europe, the portion and efficiency of recycling will go even more of import to European steel companies in order to remain competitory. However, with the current recycling rate there is non much room for betterment. Recycled steel is collected from production waste in steel installations and metalworkss ( place bit ) , downstream production procedures ( industrial bit ) and from discarded merchandises ( disused bit ) . Steel recovery rates are about 90 % for machinery, 85 % for automotive and building and 50 % for electrical and domestic contraptions. Enterprises for little betterments are for illustration the recycling of tyres in steel workss and the addition of recycling of electrical and domestic contraptions.

The most of import byproduct of steel production is slag. It can be used in cement production, route building, as fertiliser and in coastal Marine blocks to ease coral growing. Other byproducts are gases produced in the steelmaking procedure. These gases are to the full reused as energy for the furnace or the power coevals works.


Looking at the life rhythm of steel one can see a closed-loop system. The industry recycles about 90 % of steel, in some states up to 98 % , to cut down energy and stuff costs and cut down the impact on the environment. Life rhythm appraisal is seen as an appropriate tool for the industry for measuring environmental impact and choosing new engineerings ( Iosif and all 2009 ) .

Fig. 2. Steel Production Eco-Cycle

Beginning: hypertext transfer protocol: //

Because emerging states play an of import function in steel production and demo a turning demand for steel it might be of involvement to compare patterns in the life rhythm of steel in the European Union with those in China, India and the United States.

What is striking about the comparing between the states is that merely 8 % of entire production in China comes from steel bits, while Europe and the United States produce severally 45 % and 33 % from steel bit. One account for this can be the tremendous growing in steel demand in the past old ages and the comparative little handiness of bit due to the long life of steel merchandises.

Compared to steel workss in emerging economic systems like China, India and the Soviet Union, European steel workss have higher costs and cover with stricter ordinances sing clime alteration. European administrations understand that investing in discovery engineering is needed to remain competitory in the market. ULCOS is the largest and most of import research and development programme in the steel industry which has a focal point on discovery engineerings that will cut down CO2 emanation 50 % . Most research programmes in Asia and the United States are less ambitious, but are researching some of the same engineerings to accomplish CO2 decrease. However, the FINEX Fe doing procedure is presently seen as one of the state-of-the-art procedures that reduces nursery gas emanations.

The comparing above shows that European steel workss are in front of their Asiatic and US rivals when it comes to recycling and engineerings that cut down CO2 emanations and increase energy efficiency. However, it is of import that Europe will go on to put in research and development for discovery engineerings to remain in front of rivals.


The most of import proficient barrier for the steel industry is that with the current engineering there is small room for betterment in energy nest eggs and CO2 decrease as during the procedure a big sum of coal is used in the signifier of coke. The discovery engineerings that for illustration the ULCOS programme is working on are based on a different steelmaking procedure. Therefore, to develop and prove these engineerings in a all-out works a big fiscal investing is required. Furthermore, implementing one of these new engineerings in bing steel workss will radically alter the works. The coke works will go partially or wholly excess and big fiscal investings will be needed to construct a new furnace or implement other new engineerings in the production procedure. This will besides necessitate big investing from the bing steel workss. To guarantee that the steel workss are willing to do these investings the new engineering has to salvage costs in the long term.

6. Decision

Today, the EU steel sector is a modern industry with its chief client base found within the EU place markets, peculiarly in high-end sections. The chief competitory streigh is based on high quality merchandises, merchandise invovation and technological development, efficiency, and skilled work force.

The steel industry is executing good sing resource efficiency. Efficiency is achieved in energy ingestion, recycling and the usage of waste stuff, diminishing degrees of CO2.

Concluding, the EU steel industry is confronting the undermentioned challenges: the costs and handiness of natural stuffs and the increasing rigorous ordinances refering CO2 emanations, pollution bar and control, and waste. In order to keep the current market place and to confront these challenges, the EU steel industry needs to concentrate on: reenforcing the capacity to introduce and pull off the sustainability of the sector, bettering the efficiency and usage of natural stuffs in order to be competitory if there will be an increasing natural stuffs deficits and lifting monetary values, investings in clean engineerings, bettering energy efficiency, cut downing CO2 emanations and energy costs.