Ironmaking is a mature technology that has reached over the last decades a high
degree of excellence. It has proven its ability to adapt to the changing conditions
regarding raw materials availability, energy resources and hot metal demand. The large
development of coal injection practice has allowed reducing the dependency towards coke,
while achieving total reductant rates close to the theoretical limit. New challenges,
especially with respect to environment and CO2 emissions, will be strong drivers for
technological progress. To meet these requirements, further improvements of performance
are needed in the short term. Increased use of scraps will be an efficient solution.
In the mid-long term, innovative and breakthrough solutions must be invented. An example
is given by the concept of nitrogen-free blast furnace, involving recycling of decarbonated
top gas and sequestration of CO2.