Tata Steel conducts Hydrogen gas trial to operate blast furnace for emission reduction
Tata Steel has commenced the trial injection of hydrogen gas using 40 percent of the injection systems in 'E' Blast Furnace at its Jamshedpur steel plant. The company claims that this is the world's first trial involving a large quantity of hydrogen gas that is being continuously injected in a blast furnace.
The trial that started a couple of days ago is expected to continue for 4-5 days on a continuous basis. It will provide valuable insights into operating blast furnaces with greener fuel injectants, reducing fossil fuel consumption and subsequent CO2 emissions from the blast furnace, the company adds.
In particular, the hydrogen trial has the potential to reduce the coke rate by 10 percent, translating into around 7-10 percent reduction in CO2 emissions per ton of crude steel produced, according to Tata Steel.
Further, the successful completion of this trial will demonstrate Tata Steel's capability to design, fabricate and commission the injection system, develop and establish necessary general and process safety protocols, and provide process control insight for pure hydrogen injection into the blast furnace.
"The trial of hydrogen gas injection in a blast furnace at Jamshedpur Works is an important milestone in our journey towards net zero emissions. As we explore the potential of greener fuel injectants, we are excited to see the impact it can have on reducing fossil fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. We are confident that this trial will provide valuable insights into operating blast furnaces with hydrogen and help us identify the next steps towards achieving our goal of a leaner carbon future," said Uttam Singh, Vice President, Iron Making, Tata Steel.
Although hydrogen has been earmarked as an alternative to fossil fuels as an important reductant of iron ore in blast furnace for a while, its utilisation is gaining some traction only in recent times and is now being embraced on a scale like never before.
Dr Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vice President (Technology and R&D), Tata Steel, commented, "Our efforts towards decarbonization are driven by our commitment to creating a sustainable tomorrow. The trial, a testament to our capabilities in design, fabrication, and commissioning of injection systems, will accelerate our foray into green steelmaking. Tata Steel remains dedicated to leveraging innovation and technology in its pursuit of becoming the industry leader in sustainability".
In this regard, Tata Steel has adopted a two-pronged approach of Carbon Direct Avoidance (CDA) and CO2 Capture and Use. The trial injection of hydrogen gas is part of the CDA approach, focusing on the blast furnace, one of the heaviest known industrial contributors to CO2 emissions worldwide.