Cleveland-Cliffs has concluded a hydrogen injection test at its Middletown Works blast furnace with success. This is the first time this carbon-friendly technology has been implemented in the Americas.
The successful use of hydrogen gas represents a significant step toward the future decarbonization of blast furnaces, which is essential for the sustained service of the highest quality steel applications, especially in the automotive industry.
During the 8 May experiment, hydrogen gas was injected into all 20 tuyeres—the nozzles through which air is forced into a furnace—at the Middletown #3 blast furnace, facilitating the production of clean pig iron—the basis for high-end steelmaking.
Cleveland-Cliffs’ attempt of injecting hydrogen into the blast furnace at Middletown Works was a success.
Hydrogen was used as a partial replacement for the coal required for iron reduction, ultimately replacing the release of CO2 with the release of H2O (water vapor) with no effect on product quality or operating efficiency.
Hydrogen was transported to the Middletown facility via the pipeline and conveyance infrastructure already in place for the facility’s other hydrogen applications, including its annealing furnaces.
Cleveland-Cliffs is the largest manufacturer of flat-rolled steel in North America. Cliffs, founded in 1847 as a mine operator, is also North America’s largest manufacturer of iron ore pellets.
The company is vertically integrated from mined raw materials, direct reduced iron, and ferrous waste through primary steelmaking, finishing, stamping, tooling, and tubing. North America’s greatest supplier of steel to the automotive industry is Cleveland-Cliffs.
Middletown Works, located halfway between Cincinnati and Dayton in southwestern Ohio, is an integrated steel operation with carbon steel melting, casting, hot and cold rolling, and finishing operations. The heated strip mill at Middletown Works is equipped with pair-cross rolling technology for enhanced shape and crown control.