i) Design a full-hydrogen system showing a specific primary energy consumption based on inlet fuel LHV of <8 GJ/ton and with zero GHG emissions;
ii) Verify the high electric-to-hydrogen efficiency reachable with an SOEC system with hydrogen production efficiency of <35 kWh/kg;
iii) Showcase a pilot system of integration between the SOEC and a DRI furnace simulator at production capacity of 1 ton/week and TRL 4;
iv) perform a complete scale-up design for a 2 Mton/year DRI product capacity with total capital specific cost < $200/ton equivalent pig-iron per year.
Relevance and Potential Impact
In 2018, the CO2 emissions from industrial activities reached approximately 23% of global CO2 emissions (8.5 GtCO2). Steel production is one the major CO2 emitters, constituting approximately 25% of all industrial sector's total CO2s and its contribution is expected to rise due to growing steel production capacity (approximately 20% increase predicted until 2040).
With this project the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will be able to demonstrate the technical and economic feasibility of making one of the most difficult sectors sustainable and zero emissions using renewable hydrogen as an energy and chemical carrier. SOEC electrolyzers powered by renewable electricity generation and thermally integrated with the production process will ensure that future steel production will be performed with minimum (or zero) greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, reduced pollutant emissions, and high efficiency without use of limited fossil fuel resources.