The United States commits to investing up to $1 billion in support of two groundbreaking “green steel” initiatives

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The Biden administration has unveiled a bold initiative aimed at revolutionizing the iron and steel industry, a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. Department of Energy has allocated up to $6 billion for large-scale projects designed to demonstrate innovative technologies for reducing emissions across various manufacturing sectors. Notably, two leading steelmakers, Cleveland-Cliffs and SSAB, have been selected to receive substantial funding, each up to $500 million, for their respective "green steel" projects.

Both companies are proposing to establish low-emission ironmaking facilities powered by clean hydrogen, a groundbreaking approach not yet implemented in the United States. Cleveland-Cliffs plans to develop a "hydrogen-ready" ironmaking plant in Middletown, Ohio, while SSAB aims to build a new facility in Perry County, Mississippi, exclusively using hydrogen in the iron production process.

These initiatives represent a significant shift towards cleaner steel production methods, with potential emissions reductions of up to 90%. However, the success of these projects hinges on the availability of "clean hydrogen," a currently limited resource. To address this challenge, efforts to scale up clean hydrogen production and renewable energy capacity are essential.

The adoption of hydrogen-based ironmaking technologies marks a critical step towards achieving deep emissions cuts in the steel industry, a sector responsible for a substantial portion of global CO2 emissions. By investing in innovative solutions and fostering collaboration between industry stakeholders, the United States is poised to lead the transition towards more sustainable steel production methods.

Original article posted on March 26, 2024

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