Demands on primary resource, energy consumption, production costs and environmental impact in iron and steel industry link much closely to the iron-making process, process equipment and technology. At Present, the blast furnace ironmaking is still the dominant process in ironmaking. Non-blast furnace ironmaking process is only supplementary, whereas, there is a certain room for development in the future. About the development of iron-making process, the research from theory to technology is an important direction of this discipline. To reduce the coke rate and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions as the main goal, it needs to reform the existing blast furnace ironmaking process, explore a new technology to radically reduce emissions of CO2 and form a green metallurgy and the new energy complex process. It will constantly extend to new theories, new methods, new equipment and process control system.
The direction of this discipline has been formed with two features and advantages of the sub-directions on the iron-making process of the energy-saving emission reduction for many years：
1. The new technology of research on high efficiency and low CO2 emissions of smelting by hydrogen-rich and pure oxygen blast furnace
Iron production not only is the highest energy consumption, but also is the highest consumption of resources processes of the entire steel production.
Blast furnace ironmaking process will continue to occupy a dominant position at the premise of coking coal resources, but carbon dioxide emissions also ranked first in the steel industry by the blast furnace process. In order to further reduce the traditional blast furnace coke, and to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, the discipline first proposed a new process of enhanced smelting by hydrogen-rich and pure oxygen in blast furnace ironmaking, in order to achieve the academic system with energy optimization. We pioneer to blow mixed-injection hydrogen-rich gas and coal fines and pure oxygen in traditional blast furnace on the ground of theoretical research and new technology. To save coking coal resources, the research direction has developed a new smelting technique by substituting coal for coke assisting with hydrogen-rich reduction. At present, this research starts firstly, is forward-looking and is in subject forefront of key technologies. It has received patents of independent intellectual property rights among the models and key research.
2. New technologies and related basic research of energy-saving of blast furnace and comprehensive utilization of waste with energy
The research of handling the solid waste with energy in blast furnace process is one of the disciplines, which start first in the country. Blast furnace is a closed system with the function of the reduction at high temperature. Waste plastics, tires and other energetic waste are blew through the iron blast furnace tuyere, this technology can not only deal with the large quantity of waste plastics and waste tires to full utilization, but also provide a reducing agent and heat for the blast furnace, instead of part of coke, iron reduction in costs, and generate reducing gas used as fuel, and will not produce dioxin pollution. " Applied basic research of blast furnace injection of waste plastics" and "Experimental study of blast furnace and combustion characteristics of waste plastics conveying", supported by the National Natural Science Fund and the Baosteel’s funding, respectively, with aim to reduce energy consumption in blast furnace. In this sub-direction, systematic experiment on the granulation of waste plastics, pneumatic conveying properties, combustion characteristics, as well as chlorinated plastics in the blast furnace of chlorine behavior were carried out and cooperated with Baosteel Co. on the industrial test. Good results were obtained. This is also the first domestic study and the most systematic and comprehensive direction.