In order to realize the hydrogen direct reduction ironmaking process, starts research on the reduced iron (DRI) melting method jointly with Tohoku University

28. May, 2024


JP Steel Plantech Co., a steelmaking plant engineering manufacturer (head office in Yokohama, Japan; President and CEO, Representative Director: Keiji Wakahara), has started joint research with the National University Corporation Tohoku University (head office in Sendai City, Miyagi Pref., Japan; President: Teiji Tominaga) on a method for melting reduced iron (DRI) produced by hydrogen-based reduction.

Hydrogen direct reduction ironmaking, one of the Green Innovation (GI) Fund Projects, reduces iron ore using hydrogen only and then melts reduced iron in an electric furnace. However, since this reduced iron contains no carbon, it has properties different from those of conventional iron. For this reason, it is necessary to develop a new melting method.
This joint research aims to establish an optimum melting method for this iron.

This joint research will be conducted by our CN Plant Section, which works on developing technologies for carbon neutrality, and Prof. Taichi Murakami (Department of Frontier Science for Advanced Environment, Graduate School of Environmental Studies, Tohoku University). Basic study has been started in FY2024 and is planned to be completed within FY2025.

Under the banner of “Green & Smart” (“Green”: technological innovation to promote decarbonization; “Smart”: making products smart using the latest technology), Steel Plantech has developed products and services incorporating the latest technologies since 2021. In particular, we have delivered more than 80 electric furnaces worldwide and have a wealth of knowledge in this field, providing a wide variety of products such as the ECOARCTM Series, which boasts the world’s top capability of reducing unit power consumption, and the new power supply system, CleanArcTM jointly developed with TMEIC Corporation.

Tohoku University is one of the world’s leading research institutions in terms of its history and scale of ironmaking research and has many ongoing joint research projects with various steelmaking companies. In addition, having various research facilities that can analyze reduction phenomena in various processes such as conventional blast furnaces, shaft furnaces, and fluidized beds, Prof. Murakami not only boasts many great research achievements but is also familiar with the recent changes in iron ore resources. He is one of the key people in hydrogen reduction research. He also has 25 years of research experience in the field of iron carburization and melting.

In order to help achieve Japan’s carbon neutrality by 2050, we aim to realize an earth-friendly ironmaking process through industry-academia collaboration activities that leverage each party’s strengths.

View all news