ARCELOR MITTAL trusts SARRALLE one more time with a new project at their plant in Sestao, Spain. SARRALLE, with the collaboration of Nippon Gases, on its way to help companies in the challenge of decarbonization and sustainability, has provided ArcelorMittal Sestao with state-of-the-art technology capable of using green hydrogen in the steel manufacturing process. SARRALLE has put into operation the world’s first ladle preheating station capable of running entirely on green hydrogen, achieving zero CO2 emissions in this ladle. This milestone, along with other innovations and technologies, will allow the ArcelorMittal Sestao steel mill to take an important step towards its goal of being the first in the world with zero carbon emissions in the entire production process by 2025.
The purpose of this project has been to improve the operation of the existing ladle preheater and to replace the natural gas as fuel by green hydrogen, reducing CO2 emissions to a minimum. Additionally, thanks to the installed oxycombustion burner technology, NOx emissions have been reduced to near zero as well. Using 100% green hydrogen as fuel, the different heating/drying curves have been satisfactorily reproduced and the required temperatures for ladle casting have been reached, confirming a homogeneous heating of the refractory. The equipment allows to follow slow heating ramps and to heat the ladle to the casting temperature in a short time. The hydrogen consumptions measured in the different heating/drying curves confirm the performed estimates, and no negative impact on the refractory material has been observed. The inspection of the ladles that have operated after performing the heating/drying with 100% green hydrogen, confirms the positive results.
The development of green hydrogen, a fuel produced from renewable sources, is already a reality. This technology is considered key to achieving a sustainable decarbonization, which is why at a European level it has already become a strategic investment. The green hydrogen supplied to operate the ladle preheater in ArcelorMittal Sestao comes from the Nippon Gases plant in Hernani (Spain), and it is manufactured from renewable energy.
On the way to achieving decarbonization objectives, the project demonstrates that the new hydrogen-oxygen combustion system is capable of reproducing the usual natural gas ladle preheating ramps but allowing to work with zero CO2 emissions and obtaining better fuel efficiencies than when operated with the standard natural gas and air combustion.