2002 Volume 42 Issue Suppl Pages S5-S9
Life Cycle Analysis studies have been undertaken for a range of steelmaking routes, including conventional and emerging technologies. It has been shown that the new iron and steelmaking technologies based on coal can match greenhouse gas emissions (GGE) from gas based reduction processes when credits for slag use in cement, and for electricity from offgas, are taken into account.
There is a range of improvement opportunities that offer the potential for major further reductions in GGE – a 50% reduction is a realistic target over time. From a GGE perspective, there are clearly benefits in integrating steel production with electricity generation and cement production; this is a good example of an industrial ecology opportunity.
To support the move towards sustainability, BHP Billiton has used its LCA capability to develop two software tools to enable architects/building industry and school students to develop an understanding of energy and GGE in building systems and lifestyle issues, respectively.
While GGE is now the major concern, it must also be recognised that other impacts of the steel production chain, eg those related to fresh water, will increasingly need to be taken into account.