Steel is one of the most versatile materials in the world. Steel is infinitely recyclable. And it’s a necessary component of products that support modern living.

The focus now is - how do we make steel part of the ecological solution to the challenges our planet faces. 

While greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) are a primary focus, we also look at improving all social and environmental trends identified in our sustainable development outcomes, such as land, air and water emissions.

Steel has the power to positively influence the world.  

Steel is already the most sustainable material on the planet. 

The possibility of what’s to come can push the boundaries even more. 

Partnering with the Canadian government towards a common decarbonization agenda

In July 2021, ArcelorMittal Dofasco and the Canadian government announced an approximately $1.8 billion decarbonization project to support the company’s plan of reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

The project will replace Dofasco’s carbon-intensive blast furnace/basic oxygen furnace process with direct reduced iron/electric arc furnace technology. Using commercially available technology, the transition will lower Dofasco’s GHG emissions and significantly reduce other emissions. 

But our work doesn’t stop there. Dofasco is also developing a “Journey to Net Zero by 2050” plan. Strategies include alternative reductants such as hydrogen, bioenergy and electrolysis, and carbon management through carbon capture utilization and sequestration.  

For example, Dofasco is working with McGill University to evaluate the feasibility of implementing the SIDERWIN project in Canada. SIDERWIN uses electrolysis to transform iron oxide into steel metal plates with no direct CO2 emissions.  

Dofasco eyes biocarbon as fuel replacement in furnaces 

ArcelorMittal Dofasco is evaluating the use of biocarbon injection in place of pulverized coal injection (PCI) in its blast furnace. Biocarbon injection has the potential to achieve a substantial reduction in GHG emissions. 

What is the difference between PCI and biocarbon injection? 

  • The PCI process involves blowing large volumes of fine coal granules into the blast furnace, which is carbon intensive. 
  • Biocarbon is a bio-based material produced by transforming natural biomass (forestry, construction and demolition wood or agricultural waste) through pyrolysis.  
  • Pyrolysis is a thermochemical process that decreases water and volatile contents from biomass and improves fuel properties.  

Dofasco is working with a number of key partners to determine the feasibility of replacing PCI with biocarbon, including: 

“Trial outcomes are promising, demonstrating low technical and physical barriers and the ability to mitigate chemical challenges,” said Ted Todoschuk, Programme Leader, Primary, Hamilton R&D. “We continue the due diligence needed to fully embrace biocarbon in ironmaking:  developing the technical and economic business case for sustained commercial scale; understanding the upper limits of biocarbon and whether it requires additional investment and equipment; and ensuring both the supply chain and handling/storage processes are in place for the new material.” 

The work underway is expected to benefit Dofasco’s transition from blast furnace technology to electric arc furnace (EAF) technology. Biocarbon and biofuels can replace EAF carbon as well as natural gas, and play an important role in achieving Dofasco’s Journey to Net Zero emissions by 2050. 

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