Japan's Ministry of Trade and Industry today proposed a plan to achieve significant carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) reductions through the use of hydrogen-based steelmaking technologies and direct reduction of iron (DRI) technologies.
The government plans to subsidize technological innovation in such steelmaking processes using a $ 18 billion government fund set up to develop environmental projects over the next 10 years as part of efforts to decarbonize its society by 2050.
Japan's Ministry of Commerce and Industry sets a goal for the steel industry to begin commercializing hydrogen-rich gas steelmaking technology by 2030. The Course 50 project was first launched in 2008 in Japanese steel mills and has proven the ability to reduce CO 2 emissions by 30% in steelmaking in a 12m³ test blast furnace by combining hydrogen-containing coke oven gas technology. reductant and technology for highly efficient production.
Tokyo is also encouraging industry to develop hydrogen recovery steel technology to reduce 2 CO emissions by 50%, either by directly injecting hydrogen into a working blast furnace and replacing some of the coke with biomass or DRI, or by using methane synthesized from hydrogen and recovered CO 2 as a gas. The Ministry plans to implement a technology demonstration project on a test blast furnace with a volume of more than 500 m³ by 2030.
The steel industry is the largest source of CO 2 emissions in Japan's manufacturing industries, accounting for 40% of emissions for a total of 386 million tonnes between April 2019 and March 2020.
Japanese steel mills are exploring options for moving to greener steel production as the industry has committed to achieving zero emissions by 2050.
Japanese steel production in 2020-2021 fell to its lowest level in 52 years at 82.8 million tonnes, under pressure from falling production demand due to the impact of Covid-19. In January-May 2021, Japanese metallurgists produced 39.951 million tons of steel, which exceeds the same period in 2020 by 9.1%. Since the beginning of the fiscal year (April-May 2021), Japan has smelted 16.241 million tonnes of steel, up 30% YoY.