Green Steel Making - Innovation & Market

This report is commissioned to examine the global innovation, market & patenting

trends in the domain of Green Steel Making, in particular based on study of patent

filings after 2000 and secondary market study.


Earliest patent applications in Green Steel Making have been filed in 1990s but a

continuously rising patent activity in this domain started after 2000, with the highest

number of patent applications filed after 2014. Accordingly, this study was restricted

to patents filed after 2000. Looking at high number of filings happening in this domain

by enterprises of all sizes, universities, and researchers etc., it becomes much vital to

have a keen evaluation of the patenting activity to understand the innovation trends.

The initial research aims to give the readers a clear insight regarding the comparative

patenting activity among different players in the domain. A closer look at the patenting

activity demonstrates a constant rise in the filing specifically after 2014 wherein a

steep rise globally can be observed.


This motivated us to take a deeper dive and analyze critically the various techniques

for making green steel. Further, various patent filing trends have been also evaluated

while also revealing the major players in each category. A comparative analysis of R&D

strategy and portfolio strength for few major players have been also evaluated.


Finally, a few driving factors and challenges have been identified in the study. And few

prominent insights and recommendations have been identified that may help the active

players evaluate the scope of their innovation & opportunities of expansion in this

domain.


INTRODUCTION

Steel is the world’s most important engineering and construction material. It is used in

every aspect of our lives; in cars and construction products, refrigerators and washing

machines, cargo ships and surgical scalpels etc. It can be recycled over and over again

without loss of property. Steel has a commendable hardness and strength due to which it is contributing to the technological development in industrial sector.


Steel is an alloy of iron and carbon containing less than 2% carbon and 1% manganese

and small amounts of silicon, phosphorus, sulphur, and oxygen. Steel is produced via

two main routes: the blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace (BF-BOF) route and electric

arc furnace (EAF) route. Variations and combinations of production routes also exist.

The key difference between the routes is the type of raw materials they consume. For

the BF-BOF route these are predominantly iron ore, coal, and recycled steel, while the

EAF route produces steel using mainly recycled steel and electricity. Depending on the plant configuration and availability of recycled steel, other sources of metallic iron

such as direct-reduced iron (DRI) or hot metal can also be used in the EAF route.


A total of around 70% of steel is produced using the BF-BOF route. First, iron ores are

reduced to iron, also called hot metal or pig iron. Then the iron is converted to steel in

the BOF. After casting and rolling, the steel is delivered as coil, plate, sections or bars.

Steel made in an EAF uses electricity to melt recycled steel. Additives, such as alloys,

are used to adjust to the desired chemical composition. Electrical energy can be

supplemented with oxygen injected into the EAF. Downstream process stages, such as

casting, reheating and rolling, are similar to those found in the BF-BOF route. About

30% of steel is produced via the EAF route. Another steelmaking technology, the open

hearth furnace (OHF), makes up about 0.4% of global steel production. The OHF

process is very energy-intensive and is in decline owing to its environmental and

economic disadvantages.


Despite being the core pillars of today’s society and providing one of the most

important engineering and construction materials, steel industry now needs to cope with pressure to reduce its carbon footprint from both environmental and economic

perspectives. The amount of CO2 emissions from steel manufacturing is almost double the amount of steel created: 1.85 tonnes of carbon per 1 tonne of steel.


In 2015, the global response to the threat of climate change took a step forward when

190 nations adopted the Paris Agreement. In 2019, the United Nations announced that

over 60 countries—including the United Kingdom and the European Union (with the

exception of Poland)—had committed to carbon neutrality by 2050, although the three

principal emitters China, India, and the United States were not among that number.

Moreover, some nations have pledged to work toward earlier dates. Together, these

agreements have led to growing pressure to pursue decarbonization across all

industrial sectors.


With global steel demand expected to rise to 2.5 billion tonnes per year by 2050, the

environmental burden is growing. Yet an analysis of the overall reduction in worldwide

carbon emissions needed to limit global warming to a maximum of 2 °C above

preindustrial levels—the goal of the 2015 Paris climate agreement—suggests that the

steel industry’s annual emissions must fall to about 500 million tonnes of CO2 by

2050. Achieving that target will require the industry to reduce its carbon intensity

from about 1.85 tonne of CO2 per metric ton of steel to just 0.2 tonne.


This study discusses innovation and market trends since year 2000 and anticipated

future market for green steel.


TECHNIQUES FOR MAKING GREEN STEEL

TECHNOLOGY PATENT FILING TRENDS

OVERALL APPLICATION, GRANT VELOCITY & ESTIMATED EXPIRY

OVERALL LEGAL EVENTS

GEOGRAPHICAL COVERAGE OF PATENTING ACTIVITIES

ACTIVE PLAYERS AND INNOVATORS

TOP 5 ASSIGNEES COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

TOP 5 ASSIGNEES COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

TOP 5 ASSIGNEES COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

TOP 5 ASSIGNEES COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

TOP 5 ASSIGNEES COMPARATIVE ANALYSIS

GLOBAL STEEL MARKET

GREEN STEEL MARKET - DRIVERS AND CHALLENGES

RECENT COLLABORATIONS

INSIGHTS & CONCLUSION

Green Steel Making
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