CO<sub>2</sub> Breakthough Factsheets

The American steel industry is currently conducting research on the next generation of iron and steelmaking technologies that will dramatically reduce or eliminate CO2 emissions. This research is call the CO2 Breakthrough Program. These new "breakthrough technologies" are being developed over the next 15 to 20 years. Accordingly, any proposed CO2 reduction regulations must recognize the time required for these technologies to first be fully developed and tested in order for them to then become commercially availble. Widespread adoption of new technology historically has proven to take from two to three decades in our industry.

An example of of a breakthrough technology project is the current program with Massachusetts Institute of Technology to produce iron by molten oxide electrolysis (MOE). This technique generates near-zero CO2 emissions. A second project called "Ironmaking by Hydrogen Flash Smelting," now being conducted at the University of Utah, replaces carbon as a blastfurnace fuel with hydrogen.

These projects represent significant steps towards carbon-free ironmaking, since both will have near-zero CO2 emissions if successful. In the nearer term, AISI members are also developing the Paired Straight Hearth Furnace, a high-productivity, low-energy ironmaking unit that can process steel plant wastes, as well as virgin iron materials. Using coal instead of coke, this type of equipment will be available for commercial demonstration in less than five years and will potentially achieve an estimated 30 percent reduction in energy use compared to the technologies it will replace.

These research investments make clear steel's commitment to a sustainable future. The results thus far are promising. AISI recognizes that these projects represent long-range research and development that could fundamentally change the way steel is produced. With Congress and the country focused on the issue of climate change, America's steel industry is demonstrating that it will be part of the solution to this challenge.