Comparison of Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions Intensity of the International Iron and Steel Industry: Case Studies from China, Germany, Mexico, and the United States

TitleComparison of Energy-Related Carbon Dioxide Emissions Intensity of the International Iron and Steel Industry: Case Studies from China, Germany, Mexico, and the United States
Publication TypeReport
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsHasanbeigi, Ali, Jose Carlos Roj Cardenas, Lynn K. Price, Ryan Triolo, and Marlene Arens
Pagination1-36
Date Published12/2015
Keywordschina, CO2 emissions, Emissions Intensity Values, energy efficiency, energy-intensive manufacturing, Greenhouse gases, iron, Low Emissions, mexico, steel
Abstract

<p>Production of iron and steel is an energy-intensive manufacturing process. The energy efficiency of steel production has a direct impact on overall energy consumption and related carbon dioxide (CO<sub>2</sub>) emissions. The goal of this study was to develop a methodology for accurately comparing the energy-related CO<sub>2</sub> emissions intensity of steel production in different countries and to demonstrate the application of this methodology in an analysis of the steel industry in China, Germany, Mexico, and the U.S. Emissions intensity values are often sought by policy makers who must decide questions related to energy, greenhouse gases, and competitiveness. Our methodology addresses the industry's boundary definition, conversion factors, and industry structure. The results of our analysis show that, for the entire iron and steel production process, the base-case (2010) CO<sub>2</sub> emissions intensity was 2,148 kilogram (kg) CO<sub>2</sub>/tonne crude steel in China, 1,708 kg CO<sub>2</sub>/tonne crude steel in Germany, 1,080 kg CO<sub>2</sub>/tonne crude steel in Mexico, and 1,736 kg CO<sub>2</sub>/tonne crude steel in the U.S. One of the main reasons that Mexico has the lowest CO<sub>2</sub> emissions intensity is Mexico's large share of steel production using electric arc furnaces (EAFs) (69.4%). EAF steel production has lower CO<sub>2</sub> emissions intensity than production using blast furnaces/basic oxygen furnaces. China, by contrast, has the smallest share of EAF production among the four countries – 9.8% in the base-case year 2010. In one scenario, we applied the Chinese share of EAF production to the other three case-study countries; the result was an increase in CO<sub>2</sub> emissions intensity of steel production of 19% (2,036 kgCO<sub>2</sub>/tonne crude steel) in Germany, 92% (2,074 kgCO<sub>2</sub>/tonne crude steel) in Mexico, and 56% (2,703 kgCO<sub>2</sub>/tonne crude steel) in the U.S. compared to these countries' base-case analyses. In another scenario, we applied the Chinese national average grid electricity CO<sub>2</sub> emissions factor from 2010, which is the highest emissions factor among the four countries, to the other three countries. In that scenario, the CO<sub>2</sub> emissions intensity of steel production increased by 5% in Germany, 11% in Mexico, and 10% in the U.S. Additional scenarios were analyzed showing that when comparing the CO<sub>2</sub> emissions intensities of the steel industry in different countries, it is necessary to take into account the industry structure, especially the share of EAFs and the effect of electricity grid CO<sub>2</sub> emissions factors. This report also discusses a number of other important variables affecting steel industry CO<sub>2</sub> intensity.</p>

LBNL Report Number

LBNL-1004069

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