Coal & Steel Statistics
Global steel production is dependent on coal – around 70% of total global steel production relies directly on inputs of coal. Around 1 billion tonnes of coal are used in global steel production, which is around 14% of total coal consumption worldwide.
Crude Steel Production
Top Ten Steel Producers (2012)
|PR China||716Mt||South Korea||69Mt|
Currently almost 70% of global steel is produced in Basic Oxygen Furnaces (BOF). Coking coal is converted to coke, which is then used in the blast furnace to smelt iron ore. The resulting molten iron is then taken to the BOF, where steel scrap and limestone are added. A stream of high purity oxygen is blown through the molten bath to remove impurities, leaving almost pure liquid steel.
About 770 kg of coal are required to produce 1 tonne of steel in this production route.
A further 29% of steel is produced in Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF); much of the electricity used in this process is generated from coal-fired power stations.
About 150 kg of coal are required to produce 1 tonne of steel in Electric Arc Furnaces.
There was a 72% increase in steel use worldwide between 2002 and 2012. Today most steel is used in China - 45.7%, in comparison to only 23.3% in 2002.
Top Users of Steel (2012)
Per Capita Use of Steel (2012)
Per capita use of steel varies significantly around the world (kg per capita):
Top Coking Coal Exporters (2012e)
Major Coking Coal Importers (2012e)
Pulverised Coal Injection (PCI)
A technology for injecting coal directly into the blast furnaces. One tonne of PCI coal used for steel production displaces about 1.4 tonnes of coking coal. Coals used for pulverised coal injection into blast furnaces have more narrowly defined qualities than steam coal used in electricity generation.
PCI Coals Used in Blast Furnaces
Major Consumers of PCI Coals (2012) (excl. China)
Steel is 100% recyclable, with some 450Mt of recycled steel consumed in 2004. The BOF process uses up to 30% recycled steel (scrap) and around 90-100% is used in EAF production.