Climate Change Friendly Green Steel: “Society Would Have to Accept Higher Costs”

Blast furnaces of Třinec Iron and Steel Works, Czech Republic

Blast furnaces of Třinec Iron and Steel Works, Czech Republic. By Třinecké železárny, Attribution, Link

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Steel makers are eager to keep us informed of their efforts to find less carbon intensive ways to produce steel, though they worry production costs will have to rise.

Cleaning up steel is key to tackling climate change

Technology to make grey metal green will not be rolled out commercially until 2030s

Michael Pooler in London 6 HOURS AGO

Globally, steel is responsible for 7 per cent to 9 per cent of all direct emissions from fossil fuels, with each tonne produced resulting in an average 1.83 tonnes of CO2, according to the World Steel Association.

And as the world’s population grows, demand is only predicted to increase.

“In principle there are technology routes to lower emissions from steelmaking,” said David Clarke, head of strategy and chief technology officer at ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest producer by tonnage. The catch, he added, was that “society would have to accept higher costs of steel production”.

A well-established alternative to blast furnaces are electric arc furnaces (EAFs) that melt down scrap, instead of using raw materials. EAFs are smaller, less expensive and, because they do not consume coke, pump out less CO2 than blast furnaces. They already account for about one-quarter of global steel output.

However, renewable energy sources alone cannot meet their enormous electricity demands — enough to power a town of 100,000 people. Another limitation is the supply of scrap, while the grades produced in EAFs are often not the right quality for certain applications, like automotive.

Swedish steel group SSAB is building a €150m pilot facility, scheduled for 2020, that would make the Nordic country the first to manufacture the metal without fossil fuels.

Hydrogen produced by electrolysis from Sweden’s abundant renewable energy resources will be used to reduce ore into a product called sponge iron, which can be converted into steel through arc furnaces.

But clean hydrogen production is expensive and would require a huge expansion of renewable energy generation capacity. South Korea’s Posco and Voestalpine of Austria are pursuing similar projects, although the latter said it could take two decades to become reality.

Until then, steelmakers are taking intermediary steps. Tata’s system removes several stages of pre-processing raw materials and, if combined with the capture and storage of waste gases, the company said it could lower CO2 emissions by 80 per cent.

Read more:

Renewables rapidly fall down when you consider industrial use. If you focus on domestic use, if you squint hard enough you can produce impressive seeming numbers – “this new solar facility produces enough power for 10,000 homes!”. But when you consider that greening one large factory in Holland (or steel mill in this case) would require the same amount of electricity as 100,000 people consume, and that electricity would have to be reliable, so we are also talking about backup storage, there are a lot of factories in the world.

128 thoughts on “Climate Change Friendly Green Steel: “Society Would Have to Accept Higher Costs”

  1. Yeah, produce steel with an electric arc furnace powered by hamsters on wheels? It would be about as practical as using green prayer wheels.

        • Never Read Atlas Shrugged. Maybe I should.

          Carpe steel sounds like Mao’s Great Leap Forward where people produced pig iron to make government quotas. 50 million people starved to death.

          • Carbon is what make steel strong and hard. Carbon is the difference between iron and steel.

            Next greens will be demanding we start using “carbon free” steel which can go along with their “carbon free” sugar.

    • Hamsters give off a lot of CO2 and methane for that matter. Hamsters require a lot of care provided for by people that make use of goods and services that involve the use of fossil fuels. Hamster power is not green enough.

    • I am looking forward to the day when they realize that CO2’s effects on climate are either zero or negligible and undetectable. All efforts to decrease emissions is an effort to starve the world’s plants of their plant food, CO2. It’s a joke to design any policy with the goal of decreasing emissions. We need more CO2 not less. We should be finding cheaper, more efficient means for manufacturing, but to make things more expensive is laughable. More than likely, their “green” steel is not so green and actually takes more energy in one form or another.

      • Well said. They start with the psuedo-science mythology of human-induced “climate catastrophe” that there is absolutely NO empirical evidence of, and extrapolate that into “higher cost everything” being “necessary.”

        If the EU and anyone else is stupid enough to “require” more expensive steel, the U.S. should simply take advantage of this non-competitive behavior by revitalizing its own steel industry, using conventional methods of power production. Higher costs, especially unnecessary higher costs, will always end up the loser.

        • If we were to look at the earth and ask what could we do to engineer a better planet I’m sure the answer would be increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    • Green steel like Green energy is 99% pretend, unless you go nuclear. If you go nuclear the environmental wackos will have a meltdown!

    • and the steel mills i know run 24/7 so if they cant gtee power theres going to be a lot of ruined equipment if the steel cools due to power outages

      • No worries. Put this in the same category as “fusion energy in 30 years”, etc.
        “…it could take two decades to become reality.”


      • Thermal cycles are deadly for the design of the furnaces, the refractory life would be severely reduced

  2. “Two decades to become reality” means the technology is shit or does not exist but people done with dreaming about upcoming fusion reactors are on the latest green tech. Carbon capture does not exist. It does not even remotely exist. You inject it, it fouls the well very fast, in days to months. All bullshit and dreams, but the very high cost of the new tech they know with certainty. Probably the only thing they actually know, namely, they need a lot of money to work on the new tech, but the promise big success before they retire, honest.

  3. Take the same thought experiment and apply it to, say, a regional hospital. I’ve actually been thinking about this. Hospitals typically have their own fleet of generators that kick in when the electricity goes out. What happens when a hospital has “gone green”, eliminated its fleet of generators, and the electricity goes out?

    Hold on, let’s not jump into a dire scenario so quickly. How about this– if a hospital goes all green, or if the city it’s in goes all green, how does the hospital continue to provide the same services it has always provided? How will it keep costs down so that the poorest of the populace don’t suffer? How will it grow to include new life-saving or life-improving services? At the root of all these questions is energy. Just like steel mills need tons energy to produce so too does a hospital. The only difference here is that the sum of the cost increases in steel production is inflation– annoying but correctable– whereas the sum of the cost increases in hospital services is increased human suffering.

    Not acceptable.

    • In Australia, the three hospitals in the Melbourne CBD, consumed 138 GWh in 2011. As at 2015 Australia’s renewable energy, including the longstanding hydro, was 35 GWh.

      • All my adult family here in Aus work in the medical industry, either directly as a registered nurse in hospitals or some other special care areas or are still training. I am not sure they are aware at how “on the brink” the power supply in their care industry is.

        I myself have been on the receiving end of very specialist care in hospital. I shudder to think if I was in “surgery” with the specialist Dr. using a multi-million dollar machine being powered with unreliable power!! Well I know solar was not an option as my surgery was at night. So would have to have relied on wind, powering the rest of the hospital at that time too? Or batteries?

        No. I thank coal. Coal saved my life. Well no, my wife saved my life. Coal was just a resource we know powers modern health care systems. All of them! Even early health care products, Knights Coal Tar Soap and even early asparin.

        • Im in a small Vic rural town, our power either drops out or is cut off in fire risk times
          our small hospital has huge gensets and we dont even do surgery here.
          our water is bore and limited so theyve now installed two massive tanks for firefighting also
          because if the powers out the town water is off as well

      • When faced with those figures the only reply you would get from a Green is “which three hospitals”

  4. “A well-established alternative to blast furnaces are electric arc furnaces (EAFs) that melt down scrap, instead of using raw materials”

    That is called recycling old steel. Which is a wonderful thing to do with old steel. But do we have all the steel in the world that we need so that we don’t have to make new steel from raw materials?

    If not then electric arc recycling isn’t an “alternative” to blast furnaces.

  5. For every tonne of “pig iron” (That is what is produced from a blast furnace and is used to make steel) you need 25 tonnes of ore and 5 tonnes of coking coal. Then that iron will need further smelting to make mild steel. Then if you want to harden that steel you need to add carbon, typically 5% IIRC. Then if you want stainless steel you need to add chromium.

    Not sure these people know what they are talking about.

    Truly pie in the sky stuff.

    • 304 stainless, which is a relatively low grade and not suitable for many applications, is 19% chromium and about 10% nickel, and 2% manganese. It is not truly stainless, and will rust in say a dishwasher when used to make knives, and will corrode completely in salt water or other highly corrosive environments.

      Higher grades of stainless like 316, also known as surgical stainless, which is a marine grade and after passivating is virtually impervious to corrosion under most circumstances, has slightly less chromium but more nickel, plus has about 2.5% molybdenum and similar MN as 304.
      All have small amounts of various other elements.
      Last time I checked, moly was fetching over $16,000/ton. Nickel about half that 9IOW…too expensive to actually make nickels out of). Chromium is somewhere in between, somewhere north of $13,000/ton.
      Stainless steel is a different animal, pricewise, than steel.

      • Totally. Many people think stainless can’t rust or corrode, it certainly can and does depending on the grade as you say and application, just not as readily as mild steel.

        Back in the 80’s (UK) there was a short trend to have a stainless landrover chassis made to replace the, usually, rotting factory item. It was quickly dropped in favour of a mild steel chassis hot dipped galvanised. In fact almost all steel items for a landrover restore these days can be supplied galvanised. In my restore, or rather rebuild project, I had the chassis bead blasted the hot metal sprayed, reduced potential warping.

        But to get to any steel at all you need pig iron to start with, using a blast furnace, and then the various alloys can be made.

        I don’t recall who “invented” stainless but I know he was trying to make something else and made a mistake.

        It’s a while since I made my own tools/componets requiring different grades of steel.

        • The version I heard for the discovery of stainless steel is that a gunsmith was testing different alloys of steel for rifle barrels. He deemed one batch as too soft and threw it on his scrap pile. Later he noticed it had not rusted like all the other scraps.


        • A man by the name of Harry Brearley is considered the inventor of the industrial use of Stainless steel, and yes, it was while looking for new alloys for rifle barrels, in 1912. The history of Stainless Steel is a truly fascinating one.

  6. Let me see if I understand this correctly. Smelting steel on a large scale only using so called “renewable energy”. Right? I predict a waste of time and money to find out what they already know ….. it will be extremely inefficient but possible. Also, how the equipment/steel be made to attempt this folly? Virtue signaling on steroids.

    • It will work just like the various failed solar power factories such as Solyndra. A well-connected crony will receive many millions of dollars in government-insured loans. While the money lasts, the cronies will make some obscene salary while hiring naive kids to work for them saving the planet and getting paid next to nothing. As soon as the loans run out, the cronies may arrange to get a government bailout, but failing that, they will move on to their next scam and leave their employees out of work. The bankers will collect every last penny from the government.

  7. Hydrogen produced by electrolysis from Sweden’s abundant renewable energy resources… But clean hydrogen production is expensive”

    Win is free, except when you use it, then it is expensive.

    Read that over and over again until it makes sense.

    • Wind not Win.
      I hate my fingers. They keep on typing what I tell them to instead of what I want them to.

    • There is a little backdrop to the story which any greenie will ignore.

      On 2016 figures Sweden uses 139TWh of power it produced 149TWh (export 12TWh) and of that 61TWh comes from nuclear reactors (slated to run until at least 2040) and 61TWh from Hydro … so that is 122TWh that isn’t renewable (I am using the standard greenie convention that hydro is not renewable).

      Sidebar ==> So 87% of there power use is NOT from renewables and any country can stabilize a grid from that.

      Now if you are diverting excess renewable energy into making the Hydrogen it’s free as you have to do something with the energy anyhow be it idle the wind or solar farms or whatever. However the moment you make hydrogen a on demand thing you need storage and that gets very expensive because you basically move the energy required into the “Sweden uses” column and it has to be covered when the wind and sun aren’t working. So yes it’s free until you use it, that statement is correct 🙂

    • “Hydrogen produced by electrolysis from Sweden’s abundant renewable energy resources…”

      Let’s examine this statement. Sweden’s leading energy source is bioenergy, and the leading source of Sweden’s bioenergy is forest residue. So Sweden burns huge quantities of wood chips (releasing huge quantities of CO2) to generate electricity. The electricity is used to make hydrogen which is then used in a process that produces crappy steel and only releases slightly less CO2 than the traditional steel making process.

      Brilliant! How green is that really? But wait, there’s more: “But clean hydrogen production is expensive and would require a huge expansion of renewable energy generation capacity.” Translation: they’re going to have to burn a whole lot more wood chips to produce ‘clean hydrogen’.

      You can’t make this sh!t up.

      • Correction. Sweden’s main renewable energy source is hydro, which produces about half of all electricity. Biofuel (mostly forestry waste and garbage) is used on a large scale for hot water production (area heating). It also produces a minor amount of electricity (usually less than 5%). Local garbage is now insufficient, so Sweden actually imports large amounts of garbage.

        The rest of the electrical power is almost all nuclear. And once the greens have managed to close this down by taxes and regulation (they are getting close) there will be a major power crisis and large-scale import will be needed. So, no abundant renewable energy in sight.

        Yes, there is wind and solar, which has done less damage to system stability here than elsewhere since hydro can be used for balancing while nuclear provides reliable despatchable power. This will not be possible once nuclear closes down.

  8. To make steel without the use of fossil fuels one must also transport the raw materials with transportation devices that are not made using fossil fuels, that do not make use of fossil fuels in any way for the required energy they expend and that do not ride on surfaces whose manufacture involved the use of fossil fuels. Workers cannot wear any clothes or foot wear that were at any time transported via the use of fossil fuels and they cannot eat any food that is transported by truck. Recycling cannot be allowed because the recycled steel was originally made by the use of fossil fuels. … It is almost impossible to make steel entirely without the use of fossil fuels. But in terms of climate all of this does not matter because the AGW conjecture is science fiction and the climate sensitivity of CO2 is zero.

    • Well said, and amazing how blind to the ubiquitous nature of fossil fuels all of the deluded “greens” really are.

  9. Make steel production in the West more expense and the West will find it cheaper to buy their steel from China.

    Society is NOT going to accept the higher costs unless you completely start controlling the society.

    Also the good old ‘Home’ as a unit of measure. Anyone able to provide me with the conversion tables? How many Homes to the Small Business? Or to Corner Shop?

    • Yep you already saw that happen in OZ with steel. Funny how China gets a free ride until 2030 isn’t it and anyone who doesn’t know what will happen in 2030 is a fool.

      • The Chinese will just continue with their free pass to “pollute”? Of course, we now have “fake steel” from China, probably mixed with egg fried rice.

    • Exactly, Just look at the history of steel in the US. As steel got more expensive to make here in the states, less of it was made here and more of it was imported from elsewhere. Green steel means making steel somewhere else on the planet that doesn’t have green steel.

  10. “Tata’s system removes several stages of pre-processing raw materials and, if combined with the capture and storage of waste gases, the company said it could lower CO2 emissions by 80 per cent.”

    And if I drank my own urine and ate my own feces I could reduce my ecological impact by 80% and it would be about as useful as this idiotic proposal.

    • There are ways to recover steel off gases for fermentation to produce alcohols, for example. LanzaTech is one company that licenses technology for this.

      • All the best liquor should have at least some smelter condensate in it!
        Mmmm mmm!
        Puts hair on your chest, as me pappy used to say.
        Unfortunately, it also quickly dissolves it right back off.

      • So if Lancifer develops the technology to make urine and feces palatable, he can license that as well…

  11. Well, what do you expect. This is from Sweden.
    This is the land of the “Flying Swede” (look that one up), and the victim of rape who said it is OK to be raped by a Muslim because “they don’t know any better”. (Look up the news interview)
    I have come to the point that when I feel bored and in the need of a good laugh, I go online to the Swedish news sites. They are better than going to the movies.

  12. There is one problem with zero carbon (sic) steel. Trump. Once that problem is resolved then it’s Katie bar the door.

  13. The cheapest way to produce large quantities of hydrogen is via steam methane reforming. Also, carbon is a necessary component of steel.

  14. Well folks, here in Pueblo, CO, US of A, the steel mill in town just signed a contract with an electric company, Excell, that includes the building of a solar farm on the mill’s property. This to power the furnace. Hummm, wonder how that’s going to turn out. By the way, I’m told this is the only Steel Mill in the US (owned by a Russian company) that makes railroad rails as well as tube stock for oil production.

  15. Renewables rapidly fall down when you consider industrial use …
    Indeed the idea of 50% let alone 100% wind and/or solar is preposterous, those things can’t even reproduce themselves — without supplying the rest of a modern economy as well.
    You would think that fact would be immediately intuitively obvious to anyone of average intelligence.

    • My next solar panel will be produced by a future solar panel wind turbine! Yeah, right!

    • You would think, but most people aren’t paying attention to anything but their propaganda pushing “news” feeds and/or propaganda pushing “newspapers.”

  16. Ahhh, from the people who brought you RoHS with lead free solder.

    We now present sCRAPSTEEL.
    No, it’s not as good as the original, but hey, what could go wrong?
    Our models demonstrate that sCRAPSTEEL will have a .25% safety margin.

    And if you buy now, you will receive one free tin-whisker goatee.
    But wait, if you act in the next sixty seconds, we will send you a second
    tin-whisker goatee at no addition charge.*

    *Just pay an additional $9.95 for shipping and handling.

      • Ha! I stocked up on a couple of cases of 60/40 lead solder a couple of years ago.
        None of that poncie soy boy lead free c**p in my workshop!
        Now, when I feel in the need of a bit of smug superiority, I sell some to friends who come begging.
        I have to admit, it does give me that feeling of superiority. Gotta get it where you can….

    • All I see is an experimental process that has been around for 20 years and gone nowhere.

      The supposed development company ASX: ECT is currently listed at 1 cent Australian … oh yeah the old penny hopeful investment.

      Did I miss something?

    • Michael Blythe: google “coldry” a lower emissions steel making process using lignite as the reductant

      coldry is a process to remove the moisture from “brown” coal (aka lignite) to make it more like higher grade coal (which naturally contain less moisture than “brown” coal). the emissions of the “coldry” processed coal, as far as I can see, are close to the same as Bituminous coal (which is lower than the emissions of normal lignite would be). As Coking coal is typically Bituminous coal not lignite, I’m not seeing how using “coldry” coal in steel making would result in any lowering of emissions.

      Hivemind: Isn’t lignite a type of coal? So it’s steel made without coal, just using… um, coal?

      It’s steel made using a lower grade coal that has been processed to produce emissions equivalent to the normally higher grade of coal that is typically used to make steel. In short, it’s not a “lower emissions steel making process” it’s just a process to lower the emissions of lower grade coal.

  17. All of these ideas for making steel less carbon based, but steel needs car bon to become steel as against being just soft iron.

    Anyway why bother about how much or how little CO2 is emitted, we need CO2, lots and lots of it, to continue to make Planet Earth nice and green, thus being able to feed the semi starving billons out there.
    Its long overdue that we have a campaign that says CO2 s GOOD, GOOD and GOOD..


    • Michael

      Beginning of January and my grass needs cut, again.

      I’ll have to go to all the bother of watching the wife do it.

      Pesky CO2!

  18. The “carbon cap and trade” schemes are literally trade with thin air.

    every one of this trades have one winner: the stock market.

    While the real economy tries to achieve a realistic price at auctions, the stock market earns with electronic speed banking every second during the trading cycle.

    This electronic money is stored electronically and thus withdrawn from the real economy.

    All that is achieved is currency devaluation, inflation.

  19. The “carbon cap and trade” schemes are literally trade with thin air.

    every one of this trades have one winner: the stock market.

    While the real economy tries to achieve a realistic price at auctions, the stock market earns with electronic speed banking every second during the trading cycle.

    This electronic money is stored electronically and thus withdrawn from the real economy.

    All that is achieved is currency devaluation, inflation.

    Of course the stock market arguments we do customer service and that has it’s price.

    But it’s a service no one needs.

  20. What about green concrete? Concrete production is good for 10% of CO2 production wordwide.
    Oh, wait: back to using wood as construction material. But that would require lumberjacks in forests. Oh dear! Oh wait again: using straw, that’ s it, surely. But there’s not enough land to grow it on. Sigh! Back to living in caves, then.

    • Actually most of that CO2 is ultimately re-absorbed by the concrete, though it might take a few centuries.

      So it is actually approximately as “sustainable” as cutting down forests to make wood chips for power production.

  21. My next solar panel will be produced by a future solar panel wind turbine! Yeah, right!

  22. In days of yore green steel was wood; but it wasn’t very satisfactory.
    Go hug a tree Michael Pooler and ponder upon the costs of harvesting energy.

    Perhaps it would be better if you turned your research to finding a vaccine for the “Satanic CO2 Meme” (SCO2M) virus which seems to afflict you.

    • “In days of yore green steel was wood”

      More true than you know. Iron (and steel) could only be made with charcoal which is much purer than ordinary coal. Until the forests ran out.

      British ironmaking collapsed in the 17th century and only revived in the 19th when the coking process was invented, making it possible to make iron/steel with ordinary coal

      • The old ironmaking process required roughly 1.25 acres of mature (25-year old) hardwood to make enough charcoal to smelt 1 ton of iron. Do the math and you need to dedicate roughly 31 acres to hardwood stands in order to “sustainably” produce 1 ton of iron per year. As you note iron production peaked while hardwood forests were disappearing.

        The use of coal-fired blast furnaces starting around 1700 got around limited charcoal supplies, but issues with impurities still limited production. Improvements introduced by Henry Court around 1780 removed impurities and greatly increased both quality and quantity of iron production. By the early 19th century iron was plentiful and cheap enough to start being used for ship hulls.

        British iron production went from 12,00 metric tons/year in 1700 to over two million by 1850.

  23. Perhaps some reality should be added to that euphoric news bulletin.

    Yes, there is a project to develop a direct-reduction hydrogen-based steelmaking process in Sweden. It has been underway as a “pre-feasability study” for a few years. It is being financed half by the steel industry and power companies and half by tax money. This spring they started design of a pilot plant at a cost of €2 million. So, no they are not building any pilot plant yet, and no, it sure as hell won’t be producing steel in 2020. The (rather optimistic) target is to have a feasible industrial process by 2035, and be able to replace existing (almost new) blast furnaces when they are decommissioned in the 2040’s.

    One point that is not emphasized in the press releases is that a second stage will be needed after the direct reduction where the sponge iron is remelted and mixed with coal to actually make steel. This will still require coke and emit CO2, though in much smaller quantities. The loss of combustible gases from the furnaces will also mean a significant loss of area heating and electricity production while a vast amount of electical power will be needed for hydrogen production. And incidentally Sweden’s once exceptionally reliable high-voltage network is already under severe strain due to unpredictable wind and solar.

    The technical and economic challenges are therefore formidable. And the last paragraph of the Steel Industry press release announcing the start of the construction phase is worth including:

    “To be able to carry out this project, however, significant national contributions are still required from the
    state, research institutions and universities. There has to be good access to fossil-free electricity,
    improved infrastructure and rapid expansion of high voltage networks, research initiatives, faster permit
    processes and the government’s active support for pilot and demonstration facilities and long term
    support at EU level.”

    In short, without regulatory reform, plenty of tax money and plenty of cheap electricity, no go.

    Want to bet on it?

  24. As someone who has personally used steel (in minor agricultural repairs & fabrications) but having had a family friend who uses the stuff to professionally do agricultural fabs & repairs (following from his father)..
    Modern steel is junk.
    Total C R A P = spell that with a capital CR4P

    Modern steel that you get from stockholders in the UK comes from Cheap And Nasty Chinese recycled stuff.

    It won’t cut (Attach a cutting disc to it and it behaves like cast iron and is a pig to drill)
    It won’t weld properly – it doesn’t run or flux like it should (used to)- again just like cast iron.
    It’s not especially malleable – where a steel bar would bend into shape, modern stuff cracks, fractures and breaks. It is ‘hard’

    Worst of all it has ZERO, NIL, ZILCH, NADA corrosion resistance.
    Especially noticeable in agricultural usage – wet, damp and corrosive ‘chemicals’ such as fertiliser and animal manure.
    e.g. On the small farm where I was born, in the hedge along the public road on its southern side are 2 identical wrought iron steel gates. So they are hit only by agricultural chemicals but by road de-icing salt.
    They will be 70 years old at least and to my knowledge and are still standing with perfect functionality.
    Do we give them 100 years of possible life?
    From actual experience, a modern steel farmyard gate crumbles inside 10 years -EVEN after being galvanised to try and protect them. My friend with the saws, discs, drills and welders asserts that its only the galvanising that actually holds them together.

    So Mister Carbon Clever Clogs – what cost 10 of your galvanised Chinese junk gates versus just 1 ‘proper’ gate?

    Well done Mr Trump for realising as much and slapping a tariff on that junk.

    Apart from that one shining beacon, we truly are in an age of the lazy, dumb and buck-passing stupid.

    • Recycled steel is unpredictable since you have limited control over the composition. I had a friend who was an engineer in a Swedish steelwork, and his opinion was that recycled steel was only good enough for the least demanding applications like reinforcing rods for concrete.

  25. This proves that as long as a writer sticks to the right narrative, with good intentions, he can say things that are absolutely idiotic and none of the cool kids will call him out on it.

    And even if this pipe dream were successful, it would lead to higher net emissions as anything that increases the price of non-Chinese steel will increase the demand for Chinese steel, made from coal-powered energy.

  26. The solution already is in place. European steel has been deliberately made so expensive that it can no longer compete with Indian and Chinese production, two countries which do not give a monkey’s chuff about HS&E and emissions of any kind. We are being deliberately dismantled as a scociety by the marxists and the useful idiots who flock to their cause.

  27. The alternative would be to revert to charcoal based reductant as deployed before Abraham Darby first used coke – inspired by beer brewers! With all the extra CO2 boosting tree growth this might be an option for the future – but I have not run the numbers.

    • Perhaps you should try to understand what you are reading Griff before sailing off into your green dreamland.

      It isn’t a hydrogen steel plant. It is a hydrogen plant. “The worlds largest pilot plant”. Well, pilot plants usually aren’t very big, and neither is this one. 1200 cubic meters of H2 per hour (which sounds a lot more than 240 pounds) which means it is quite a small plant compared to conventional “non-green” hydrogen plants. It will need a lot of up-scaling before it can be used for steelmaking.

      By the way, this is the simple part. Making hydrogen by electrolysis of water is high school chemistry. The difficult thing is doing it economically and safely on a large scale.

    • Hi Griff:

      Didn’t we have this discussion before? You posted a link to a claim that Britain could become a “major” producer of recycled steel using renewable energy from tidal basins. I dug up the numbers to refute that.

      In any case, scrap steel only meets a small percentage of the annual demand — the vast majority of steel production is new (primary) steel made from iron ore using coked coal.

      Steel is almost 100% recyclable, but because it is so durable it takes decades before steel in typical uses becomes available again as scrap. In the case of structural steel it is somewhere between 40 and 70 years before you get 50% of it back (from memory; I haven’t verified this figure).

      In the meantime, world demand for steel increases each year.

      Now if you can find a more efficient process to make steel than the nearly universal Basic Oxygen Furnace method used today, you could be the next Andrew Carnegie.

      • Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

        Griff, churning out regurgitated tripe? Never……….

        I though he had written to Anthony in a hissy fit telling him he was never contributing to this blog again because he was disrespected.

        I wonder why.

    • Griff, as tty pointed out, that article doesn’t say what you claim it says. They’re building a pilot hydrogen plant, not a “hydrogen steel” plant. They plan to use it to “to research into future breakthrough technologies” while that includes testing “the potential applications for green hydrogen in the various process stages of steel production” that’s not it’s only purpose and that suggests that such application and technologies are “still to come” (potential, not actual) IE they haven’t yet been invented/worked out (in short, we are talking *vaporware* at this moment in time). Don’t count your green chickens before they hatch.

  28. Next up, “green glass”. Oh wait, they already make that, in Mexico. Lovely green tint, lots of bubbles. If you like that sort of thing. Oh wait, they do use fossil fuels to make it. Never mind.

  29. A blast furnace is used to take raw ore and convert it to steel. An arc furnace can only melt scrap, and scrap is very scarce right now. I live in a steel town and the glow of the blast furnaces Turning mountains of coal and ore into steel is a very good sight. I spent many a night sitting around the mill waiting for the power company to give us the go ahead to bring an arc furnace online once the days load shrunk enough to allow us to do a melt.

  30. Funny how in solving this global non problem, its always the people who can least afford it who have to accept the additional costs. Meanwhile the astronomically wealthy push down wages, and fly around the world telling people how to live, while taking their % from the AGW scam at every turn.

    Its gets more like Elysium every day. I guess that whole France thing never made it to the Elite News Network?

  31. Just for scale reference….

    “Mr. Deng, who died in 1997, never got to see how big. At the time of his visit to Japan, China produced 4% of the world’s steel. This year, China is on track to produce more than half, a record 923 million metric tons, according to government estimates. It overtook the U.S. in steel production in 1993, sped past Japan in 1996 and last year produced three times as much steel as the U.S., Russia and Japan combined. Steel made its shipbuilding and auto-making industries into the world’s largest.”

  32. “Globally, steel is responsible for 7 per cent to 9 per cent of all direct emissions from fossil fuels”
    The most important piece of information we need to consider here is that fossil fuel CO2 is not controlling atmospheric CO2 and our emissions are a tiny part of the whole. This fact has been before the public and climate communities for years but is completely ignored by the IPCC to accept the indefensible assumption that all recent growth in atmospheric CO2 is due to human activities. This article would be rightly recognized as moot if the facts were widely known. Start here ( for an easy introduction to the physics involved. Then study Harde 2017 and the laughable treatment he got at ( Then consider the several video lectures by Murry Salby. Go on to see the statistical analysis at ( that is entirely consistent with Salby’s work and directly contradictory to to the IPCC assumption mentioned earlier.
    This line of evidence should be at the forefront of any study of how to decrease CO2 emissions until it has bee clearly falsified.

  33. I wouldn’t worry. China and India, with there “carbon” exemptions, will be able to supply the rest of the world with plenty of cheap high quality steel. It’s just part of the de-industrialisation of the west.

  34. The “carbon cap and trade” schemes are literally trade with thin air.

    every one of this trades have one winner: the stock market.

    While the real economy tries to achieve a realistic price at auctions, the stock market earns with electronic speed banking

    betting against your bids

    every second during the trading cycle.

    This electronic money is stored electronically and thus withdrawn from the real economy.

    All that is achieved is currency devaluation, inflation.

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