Volume 29: Closing Carbon Cycles – A Transformation Process Involving Technology, Economy, and Society: Part IV

A comparative environmental assessment of the cast iron and steel melting technologies in Germany Lars Finkewirth, Ali Abdelshafy, Grit Walther



Energy transition as a response to climate change requires structural transformation in the industrial sector. While some industries have already gained the attention of research studies due to their high production and emissions levels, there is an obvious lack of analyses on small but energy intensive sectors such as casting industry. Herein, the aim of this paper is to fill this knowledge gap by implementing an environmental assessment of the cast iron and steel melting technologies. The carbon footprint of four main types of furnaces and their variants have been determined. Moreover, sensitivity analyses have been conducted to quantify the impact of energy sources and electricity-mix. The analyses show the major differences between the environmental performances of melting technologies. As the GHG emissions depend on the adopted technology linked with specific amounts and sources of energy, the current technologies are associated with high carbon footprints (especially cupola furnaces). Therefore, reaching carbon neutrality necessitates fundamental changes in terms of types of furnaces and related energy sources.

Keywords environmental assessment, carbon footprint, energy transition, energy-intensive industries, cast iron and steel, melting technologies

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