Natural Gas Injection

Similar to PCI, natural gas injection in BF allows a reduction in coke utilization with associated benefits. With natural gas use, hydrogen is introduced as a reducing agent to the BF and this offers benefits over carbon monoxide which is the reductant in the case of coke or PCI usage. These benefits include elimination of the CO2 formation, reduced heat demand, and improved productivity.  With typical injection rates are between 0.04–0.11 t/t-HM, the highest being 0.155 t/t-HM, this technology offer considerable reductions in coke consumption.  Replacement rates for natural gas vary between 0.9 and 1.15 t-natural gas/t-coke. Natural gas can also be used to replace PCI, usually at a rate of 200-500 Nm3/t-coal (Worrell, et al., 2010. p. 84). 

This technology requires little extra capital investments and special equipment except for the gas pressure equalizer and gas distributor.  However, its applicability and extent of use greatly depends on the avaialbility and cost of natural gas, thereby significantly reducing the potential of this measure for China and India. 

Development Status Products

Natural Gas InjectionCosts & Benefits

Parent Process: Blast Furnace System
Energy Savings Potential

Fuel savings are estimated to be 0.9 GJ/t-HM.

CO2 Emission Reduction Potential

US flag Savings of 54.9 Kg CO2/tHM are estimated by the injection of 140 kg natural gas/t-HM (US EPA, 2010. p.9).


Natural Gas Injection Publications

Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Saving Opportunities for the U.S. Iron and Steel Industry

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) energy guide, Energy Efficiency Improvement and Cost Saving Opportunities for the U.S. Iron and Steel Industry, discusses energy efficiency practices and technologies that can be implemented in iron and steel manufacturing plants. This guide provides current real world examples of iron and steel plants saving energy and reducing cost and carbon dioxide emissions.

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