U.S. Steel Offers Vision for Decarbonization
U.S. Steel is pushing itself rapidly into the future, as the company looks to keep steelmaking front and center in the world economy.
The steelmaking icon Andrew Carnegie founded 120 years ago is committed to a 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in less than 10 years – and slashing GHGs to net zero by 2050.
The Pittsburgh-based company is required to decarbonize across its entire footprint, according to Kevin Zeik, U.S. Steel’s Senior Research Fellow.
Zeik explained the moves his company has begun and plans to implement while addressing the Fall Hydrogen & Carbon Capture Conference, held Nov. 11 outside Pittsburgh. The all-day program was produced by the H2-CCS Network and Shale Directories.
“To meet the GHG emissions of intensity 20% reduction based on a 2018 baseline, we will deploy EAF (Electric-Arc Furnace) steelmaking at the Fairfield (Alabama) Works and at Big River Steel (in Arkansas), Zeik said. “We also will continue implementing our ‘Best for All Strategy,’ and make improvements to existing plants, including integrated and EAF facilities.”
Under Best for All, sustainability and profitability are necessary to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.
To reach its net-zero emissions goal by 2050, the steelmaker plans to construct more EAFs and to rely on public-private-university-government collaborations to develop new processes and other technologies to lower GHGs.
Those technologies already under serious study include utilizing direct reduced iron, renewable energy, and carbon capture sequestration and utilization.
“There is growing demand for sustainable investment options,” according to Zeik. “And climate change and inequality are systemic risks in moving forward.”
U.S. Steel in 2020 emitted 27 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide (a major GHG component), or over two million metric tonnes of CO2 for each metric tonne of steel produced, according to Zeik.
The move to utilizing more EAFs will significantly cut the emissions total, as will implementing carbon sequestration and hydrogen usage.
“To lower existing-plant emissions will require bolting-on carbon capture equipment to both basic oxygen furnaces (BOFs) and EAFs,” Zeik told the H2 & CC conference audience.
Zeik added, “U.S. Steel is the only American steelmaker that has joined ResponsibleSteel, a global nonprofit forum for all members of the steel supply chain and civil society organizations to work together to promote steel’s contribution to a sustainable future.”
Membership in ResponsibleSteel provides a framework, standard and certification process to drive the responsible sourcing, production, use and recycling of steel.