Tata Steel initiates trial for continuous injection of Coal Bed Methane
by David Fleschen
As part of its continuous efforts to move toward sustainable steel production, Tata Steel has initiated the trial for continuous injection of coal bed methane (CBM) gas in one of the Blast Furnaces (E Blast Furnace) at its Jamshedpur Works, making it the first such instance in the world where a steel company has used CBM as injectant.
This process is expected to reduce coke rate by 10 kg/thm, which will be equivalent to reducing 33 kg of CO2 per tonne of crude steel. The trial will take place over the next few weeks. The technology, design, and development of the entire system at E Blast Furnace for facilitating CBM injection has been done by the in-house team of Tata Steel.
Debashish Bhattacharjee, Vice President, Technology & New Materials Business, Tata Steel, said: “The conversations around climate change have gained unprecedented momentum in the recent years. Given this imperative, the steel industry, also considered hard to abate, too will need to urgently explore sustainable options to mitigate its environment footprint. At Tata Steel, we are on a journey to decarbonise and this initiative is yet another step towards this objective. We will continue to innovate and make investments to transition towards sustainable manufacturing.”
Uttam Singh, Vice President, Iron making, Tata Steel, said: “Technologies to decarbonise steel at scale are not ready yet. Tata Steel has undertaken various technology initiatives including pilots and trials to explore new and scalable solutions for decarbonisation. This initiative of CBM injection in blast furnace will provide us with useful insights into Blast Furnace operation with hydrogen based injectants and help reduce emissions. We are on a mission to bring down the CO2 emissions to 1.8 tonne of CO2 per tonne of crude steel by 2030.”
This trial will help in quantification of the reduction in coke rate used in the blast furnace, its impact on productivity and will provide useful insights regarding operation of blast furnaces with hydrogen-based injectants. These insights will be used to design a framework for future sustainable operations of blast furnaces with greener fuels containing more hydrogen.
CBM primarily contains 98% of methane along with trace amounts of other gases, extracted from underground coal reservoirs. India is blessed with abundant resources of CBM with the eastern region of the country being the major source. This provides a promising opportunity logistically and economically to leverage the use of CBM for injection purposes.
Source: Tata Steel, Photo: Fotolia