Basic Oxygen Furnace (BOF) steelmaking is, worldwide, the most frequently applied process. According to the world steel organization statistical report, 2021, it saw a total production share of 73.2%, or 1371.2 million tons per year of the world steel production in 2020. The rest is produced in Electric Arc Furnace (EAF)‐based steel mills (26.3%), and only a very few open‐hearth and induction furnace‐based steel mills. The BOF technology remains the leading technology applied based on its undoubted advantages in productivity and liquid steel composition control. The BOF technology started as the LD process 70 years ago, with the first heat applied in November 1952 in a steel mill in Linz, Austria. The name LD was formed from the first letters of the two sites with the first industrial scale plants, Linz and Donawitz, both in Austria. The history and development of the process have been honored in multiple anniversary publications over the last few decades. Nevertheless, the focus of the steel industry worldwide is significantly changing following a social and political trend and the requirement for fossil‐free energy generation and industrial production to be in accordance with the world climate targets committed to in relation to the decades leading up to 2050. Iron and steel production is one of the major polluters of climate changing greenhouse gases; it must change to renewable primary energy sources and the use of climate‐neutral reduction agents. Because it is very obvious that carbon, as the main component for steel strength properties, cannot be eliminated totally from the steel production process, the question arises of where a “zero carbon” approach can lead? This paper will review the ongoing success story of the LD‐process, discuss the recent technology advancements, and give an outlook on the future role of the process in the steel industry.
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- oxygen steelmaking
- process technology
- zero carbon