Cleveland-Cliffs’s Middletown Works blast furnace has finished a hydrogen injection experiment. This is the first time this carbon-friendly technique has been used in the Americas, with hydrogen gas being used as an iron-reducing agent in the blast furnace.
The use of hydrogen gas is an important step toward the eventual decarbonization of blast furnaces, which are required to maintain service of the most quality-intensive steel applications, such as those used in the automobile sector.
At the conclusion of the experiment on May 8th, hydrogen gas was fed into all 20 tuyeres (nozzles through which air is pushed into a furnace), making it easier to produce clean pig iron, the basis for high-quality steelmaking.
The attempt of injecting hydrogen into the blast furnace at Middletown Works was completed by Cleveland-Cliffs successfully.
Hydrogen was employed as a partial replacement for the coke required for iron reduction, resulting in the production of H2O (water vapor) instead of CO2 with no negative effects on product quality or operational efficiency.
The pipeline and transportation facilities already in place at the Middletown site for the firm’s various hydrogen applications, notably for its annealing furnaces, were utilized to transfer the hydrogen there.
When it comes to producing flat-rolled steel, Cleveland-Cliffs dominates the North American market. Established in 1847 as a mining company, Cliffs has since grown to become the leading producer of pelletized iron ore in the Americas.
From basic steelmaking to downstream finishing, stamping, tooling, and tubing, the organization handles everything from mined raw materials to ferrous trash. In North America, Cleveland-Cliffs is the primary source of steel for the automobile sector.
The Middletown Works is an integrated steel plant that includes carbon steel melting, casting, hot- and cold-rolling, and finishing, and is located in southwestern Ohio between Cincinnati and Dayton. The hot strip mill at Middletown Works uses pair-cross rolling technology, which allows for more form and crown control.