Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting nature.com. You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Carbon neutrality orientates the reform of the steel industry

The steel industry in China has an important role in reducing national and global carbon emissions, demanding integrated actions and efforts across policies, industry and science to achieve the goal of carbon neutrality.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

$32.00

All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Crude steel production and carbon emissions in the steel industry.
Fig. 2: Low-carbon steelmaking technological routes based on BF–BOF and EAF processes.

References

  1. The Paris Agreement (UNFCCC, 2015).

  2. Mallapaty, S. Nature 586, 482–484 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Steel Statistical Yearbook 2021 (World Steel Association, 2021).

  4. Hasanbeigi, A. Steel Climate Impact: An International Benchmarking of Energy and CO2 Intensities (Global Efficiency Intelligence, 2022).

  5. Chen, J., Li, S. & Li, Y. Pursuing Zero-Carbon Steel in China: A Critical Pillar to Reach Carbon Neutrality (RMI International, 2021).

  6. Fan, Z. & Friedman, S. J. Joule 5, 829–862 (2021).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. He, H., Guan, H., Zhu, X. & Lee, H. Energy Rep. 3, 29–36 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Action Plan for a Competitive and Sustainable Steel Industry in Europe (European Commission, 2013).

  9. Reaching the 2020 Horizon: 14 Years of Mediterranean Cooperation on Environment (European Commission, 2020).

  10. 2020 Sustainability Report (US Steel, 2020).

  11. Activities of Japanese Steel Industry to Combat Global Warming (Japan Iron and Steel Federation, 2021).

  12. Comprehensive Work Program for Energy Conservation and Emissions Reduction during the 14th Five-Year Plan Period (State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2021).

  13. Action Plan for Carbon Dioxide Peaking Before 2030 (State Council of the People’s Republic of China, 2021).

  14. Guiding Opinions on Accelerating the Construction of a Recycling System for Waste Materials (NDRC of the People’s Republic of China, 2022).

  15. Schiermeier, Q., Tollefson, J., Scully, T., Witze, A. & Morton, O. Nature 454, 816–823 (2008).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Ryberg, M. W., Owsianiak, M., Laurent, A. & Hauschild, M. Z. Energy Environ. Sci. 8, 2435–2447 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Duan, H. et al. Science 372, 378–385 (2021).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Liu, Z. et al. Nat. Rev. Earth. Environ. 3, 141–155 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Yu, S., Lehne, J., Blahut, N. & Charles, M. 1.5°C Steel: Decarbonizing the Steel Sector in Paris-Compatible Pathways (Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, 2021).

  20. Tang, J. et al. Int. J. Miner. Metall. Mater. 27, 713–723 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Wang, X. et al. Chem. Rev. 122, 1273–1438 (2022).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Reiner, D. M. Nat. Energy 1, 15011 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Gür, T. M. Prog. Energy Combust. Sci. 89, 100965 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Weldegiorgis, F. S. & Franks, D. M. J. Clean. Prod. 84, 281–288 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Kim, J. et al. Energy Res. Soc. Sci. 89, 102565 (2022).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Griffin, P. W. & Hammond, G. P. Appl. Energy 249, 109–125 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Wang, R. Q., Jiang, L., Wang, Y. D. & Roskilly, A. P. J. Clean. Prod. 274, 122997 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Qiao, J. C. et al. Prog. Mater. Sci. 104, 250–329 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Zhou, M., Li, C. & Fang, J. Chem. Rev. 121, 736–795 (2021).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  30. George, E. P., Raabe, D. & Ritchie, R. O. Nat. Rev. Mater. 4, 515–534 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Xie, Y. et al. Nat. Mater. 20, 789–793 (2021).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Li, X. et al. Nature 527, 441–442 (2015).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Boyd, P. G., Lee, Y. & Smit, B. Nat. Rev. Mater. 2, 17037 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Scott, T., Walsh, A., Anderson, B. & O’Connor, A. Economic Analysis of National Needs for Technology Infrastructure to Support the Materials Genome Initiative (Research Triangle Institute, 2018).

  35. Martin, J. H. et al. Nature 549, 365–369 (2017).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Zhang, D. et al. Nature 576, 91–95 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Bajaj, P. et al. Mater. Sci. Eng. A 772, 138633 (2020).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  38. DebRoy, T. et al. Nat. Mater. 18, 1026–1032 (2019).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Acknowledgements

This work was supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (grant nos. 2018YFA0703503 and 2021YFA1200196), Overseas Expertise Introduction Projects for Discipline Innovation (Project 111, B14003) and National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant nos. 52188101, 51991340, 51991342 and 52122208).

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Yue Zhang.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Peer review

Peer review information

Nature Materials thanks Yinmin (Morris) Wang and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Kang, Z., Liao, Q., Zhang, Z. et al. Carbon neutrality orientates the reform of the steel industry. Nat. Mater. 21, 1094–1098 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-022-01370-7

Download citation

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41563-022-01370-7

Search

Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing