Hans Ferkel: It will change the ironmaking process essentially. The classical blast furnace route with downstream oxygen steelmaking will be increasingly substituted by a combination of H2-dominated direct reduction processes, such as the Midrex process coupled with an electric arc furnace. Depending on what is technically and economically rational, the required hydrogen will be produced – preferably with green power generated in the plant itself or elsewhere – using the most efficient electrolysis method. With our solutions, this transformation can take place successively – meaning single selected blast furnaces can be substituted with green iron production. Here, the Sunfire technology enables us to take a modular approach.
At present, a standard hydrogen generation module has the size of a shipping container and requires around 740 kW of power. This corresponds to 200 Nm3/h of H2. With the Sunfire technology, you need approx. 300 MW to produce one million tons of DRI. We have already developed concepts for projects of this size. Most exciting about the Sunfire technology is that it can also be used for the electrolysis of CO2 to CO and O.