F03 - Techno-economic evaluation of hydrogen production and use at a steel mill site


Project duration: 01/2022 - 05/2022
Client: E.ON SE and Westnetz GmbH

  Figure: Incorporation of hydrogen into the steel production process Copyright: © FCN-ESE

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in the industrial sector is a major challenge for the success of the energy transition. Fossil energy sources for the provision of process heat are difficult to substitute with renewable energy sources. In order to safeguard existing economic sectors, strategies for decarbonization in the industrial sector must be developed alongside profitable business models and evaluated in a holistic manner.

The use of renewably produced hydrogen represents a central building block for the decarbonized provision of energy in the industrial sector. The aim of the project involving a consortium of an energy supplier, an electricity and gas grid operator, an industrial company and the Chair of Energy System Economics at RWTH Aachen University (FCN-ESE) is the technical and economic evaluation of the integration of hydrogen into the steel production process chain. Technical, economic and regulatory potentials and limits of electrolytically generated hydrogen utilization (power-to-gas, P2G) are analyzed.

The task of the team of researchers at FCN-ESE is in particular to develop a techno-economically optimized overall concept for the integration of hydrogen into the steel production process chain, taking into account technical, economic and regulatory aspects. For this purpose, an existing optimization model at the chair will be adapted and further developed for the specific site. The focus is on the technical design of hydrogen production and use, the evaluation of the integration of further system components such as large battery storage systems to cushion peak loads, and the analysis of implications for grid charges. The technical concepts considered include not only the possibility of local hydrogen production at the site (onsite), but also the option of external hydrogen production at a nearby wind farm (offsite) and the option of connecting to a national or European H2 backbone.