Exploring selected pathways to low and zero CO2 emissions in China's iron and steel industry and their impacts on resources and energy

Zhang, S. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2487-8574, Yi, B., Guo, F. ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6415-8083, & Zhu, P. (2022). Exploring selected pathways to low and zero CO2 emissions in China's iron and steel industry and their impacts on resources and energy. Journal of Cleaner Production 340 e130813. 10.1016/j.jclepro.2022.130813.

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The increasing energy and material consumption associated with global economic growth has resulted in the need for more severe efforts at mitigating global climate change. The iron and steel industry consumes 8% of energy and emits 7% of total CO2 globally. China's iron and steel industry contributes to 15% of that country's total CO2 emissions. Therefore, there is an urgent need to explore the possibility of net zero emissions in the iron and steel industry in China to meet China's goal of carbon neutrality before 2060. In the study presented in this paper, the MESSAGEix–China iron and steel model was developed by integrating the process-based technology of the sector into the IIASA's MESSAGEix framework to explore zero CO2 emission pathways and their associated impacts on resources, energy, and water in China's iron and steel industry up to 2100. We found that there are multiple pathways to achieving zero CO2 emissions in the Chinese iron and steel industry by the end of the 21st century. More specifically, in all the pathways developed in this study, CO2 emissions decreased significantly between 2030 and 2060 due to the rapid application of 100% scrap-based Electric Arc Furnaces (EAFs) and hydrogen-based Direct Reduced Iron (DRI)-EAFs steel-making technologies. However, by 2060, there will still be 70–360 Mt of CO2 emissions from China's iron and steel industry; consequently, carbon sink or negative emission technologies are required to offset this and achieve the country's carbon neutrality goal. Furthermore, technologies for achieving zero emissions differ widely in terms of their impacts on the consumption of materials and energy. Compared to the electric (ELE) scenarios, 25–40% of extra iron ore is consumed in the current and new national policy (NPS) scenarios and the DRI scenarios, but 25–220% of scrap is required. At the same time, 20–150% more energy will be saved in the ELE scenarios than in the NPS and DRI scenarios. Finally, we recommend that policy makers design a cross-cutting strategy to achieve zero CO2 emissions and enhance efforts for material recycling and the provision of clean energy and water.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Iron and steel industry; MESSAGEix; Net zero emissions; Energy and water
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Pollution Management (PM)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Sustainable Service Systems (S3)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 21 Mar 2022 15:47
Last Modified: 20 Feb 2024 03:00
URI: https://pure.iiasa.ac.at/17897

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