Japan to Transform Steelmaking Processes with Hydrogen Reduction Technology
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Japan to Transform Steelmaking Processes with Hydrogen Reduction Technology

The Japanese government has launched the "Hydrogen Utilization in the Iron and Steelmaking Process" project to promote the development of technologies to transform the steelmaking process and achieve carbon neutrality in the steel industry, which is a major emitter of CO2. The goal is to implement the project in society by the mid-2040s. As the development of conversion technologies for the steelmaking process intensifies globally, proactive initiatives by both the public and private sectors in Japan are deemed essential.

The project aims to drive technological developments that significantly transform the steelmaking process to achieve carbon neutrality in the steel industry. Specifically, the focus is on researching hydrogen reduction ironmaking technology, which involves moving away from fossil fuels in the steelmaking process and using hydrogen to reduce iron ore. The project aims to implement this hydrogen reduction ironmaking technology in society. Anticipating the establishment of a future hydrogen supply infrastructure, the project is conducting research and development on decarbonization technologies, including hydrogen reduction ironmaking.

In Japan, efforts have been ongoing since 2008 to develop technologies such as hydrogen reduction technology using blast furnaces, blast furnace hydrogen reduction technology, and CO2 separation and recovery technology. The goal is to establish technologies that reduce CO2 emissions from the steelmaking process, with a practical application target set for 2030. The current steelmaking processes include blast furnace method, electric furnace method, and direct reduction method, and innovative technologies are being applied to each of them to advance the decarbonization process.