A claim that carbon capture is unlikely to play a major role in decarbonising steel production has been dismissed by a host of industry experts.

The Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) says in a new report that high costs and low CO2 capture rates negate use of the technology.  It sees green hydrogen as central to steel decarbonisation in future years.

But the conclusion is challenged by representatives of the World Steel Association and Brussels-based Eurofer, who are clear that CCUS has a role to play.

“It’s bullshit!  Hydrogen use has yet to be proven on a commercial basis at industrial scale,” said an advisor to CCS Europe with great knowledge of the industry. “The quantities that would be required are huge, and the costs will be high. In any case, much of it would likely be blue hydrogen which requires CCS technology.”

The Chinese Academy of Science says that 32% of the emission reductions in the country’s steel industry envisaged for 2060 will be achieved through carbon capture.  Indian ministers say much the same. In both countries, as in others across the world, blast furnaces dependent upon coal are still being built, making the need for capture technology almost certain.

CCS Europe director Chris Davies commented : “There is no one magic solution to decarbonising steel.  There has been no business case for CCS investment so of course the technology can still improve and the costs can come down, but it will have a part to play.”

“The coming end of free ETS allowances in Europe means that costs will rise and will be passed on to customers.  It will be better to encourage industry to invest in reducing emissions than in requiring companies to pay for the right to release them.”