Dr. Chris Bumby and his team at Victoria University of Wellington won the top innovation award for their zero-carbon iron production discovery at the HERA Future Forum Nation event.
HERA stands for Heavy Engineering Research Association, the organisation of metal-based industry in New Zealand.
Dr. Bumby and his team’s research has produced positive results at hydrogen reduction of iron ore. Their team have discovered a zero-carbon way to make iron that worked “especially well” with the New Zealand ironsand, the article says.
The article on Spinoff provides some details on how the team process iron and steel in a zero-carbon way by using hydrogen and the way these technology goes forward with the use of renewable energy to make the whole process truly zero-carbon.
At present, the production of zero-carbon iron is done at the laboratory, but they have plans to expand their operations to meet increasing demands for steel.
Is producing zero-carbon steel possible at a scale, and if it is, how can it be done?
The article, “The winding road toward zero-carbon iron,” explains how.
Steel production is still one of the most energy-intensive industries and the highest emitters of CO2 like cement production.
Imagine the environmental benefits and impacts on climate change when carbon and fossil fuel are finally removed from the equation in the manufacturing of iron and steel.
The articles that were mentioned show that the zero-carbon production of steel is possible although not without challenges.
It is up to big companies and governments to research further and weather these challenges in line with climate adaptation and mitigation goals.