Process for producing steel from iron ore and scrap / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Steelmaking is the process of producing steel from iron ore and/or scrap. In steelmaking, impurities such as nitrogen, silicon, phosphorus, sulfur and excess carbon (the most important impurity) are removed from the sourced iron, and alloying elements such as manganese, nickel, chromium, carbon and vanadium are added to produce different grades of steel.

Steel mill with two arc furnaces

Steelmaking has existed for millennia, but it was not commercialized on a massive scale until the mid-19th century. An ancient process of steelmaking was the crucible process. In the 1850s and 1860s, the Bessemer process and the Siemens-Martin process turned steelmaking into a heavy industry.

Today there are two major commercial processes for making steel, namely basic oxygen steelmaking, which has liquid pig-iron from the blast furnace and scrap steel as the main feed materials, and electric arc furnace (EAF) steelmaking, which uses scrap steel or direct reduced iron (DRI) as the main feed materials. Oxygen steelmaking is fueled predominantly by the exothermic nature of the reactions inside the vessel; in contrast, in EAF steelmaking, electrical energy is used to melt the solid scrap and/or DRI materials. In recent times, EAF steelmaking technology has evolved closer to oxygen steelmaking as more chemical energy is introduced into the process.[1]

Steelmaking is one of the most carbon emission intensive industries in the world. As of 2020, steelmaking is responsible for about 10 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.[2] To mitigate global warming, the industry will need to find significant reductions in emissions.[3] In 2020, McKinsey identified a number of technologies that could potentially offer some emission reductions, including carbon capture and reuse during manufacturing, and switching to solar and wind energy to either power electric arc furnaces, or produce hydrogen as a cleaner fuel. [3]