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BHP & Hatch to build electric smelting furnace pilot plant

27 Mar 2023 16:23 reported by Ana Lee

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Australian miner BHP Billiton planned to join forces with engineering company Hatch to build an electric smelting furnace (ESF) pilot plant in Australia that will replace coking coal with hydrogen and renewable energy as the main fuel.

The ESF is a new type of furnace developed by leading steel producers and technology companies with the goal of reducing CO2 emissions during the steelmaking process. When combined with the direct reduced iron (DRI) step, ESF can produce steel from iron ore using renewable electricity and hydrogen instead of coking coal.

Compared to conventional blast furnace steelmaking processes, it is possible to reduce CO2 emissions by more than 80% through this process.

Australia has plenty of sunshine and strong wind power, which are the advantages of developing renewable energy. Australia will focus on green steel in future development.

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