Achieving a carbon neutral society without industry contraction in the five major steel producing countries

Kyunsuk Choi, Hiroyuki Matsuura, Hyunjoung Lee, Il Sohn

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2 Citations (Scopus)


This study analyzed the direct and indirect CO2 emissions of the energy-intensive basic metals industry, in particular steels, using the distributions of various energy sources, including coal/peat, oil, and electricity, from an input-output table. An analysis of five major steel producing countries indicated that direct CO2 emissions increased 1.4-fold and that indirect CO2 emissions increased by more than two-fold between 1995 and 2010. The elasticity of the CO2 emissions and the total energy costs indicated that Korea, Japan, and Germany are sensitive to energy sources from the electric power industry, whereas China and the US are more sensitive to energy sources pertaining to the coal and oil industry. Using the available forest area and photosynthesis, the potential neutralization ability of CO2 was estimated using the eco-CO2 index. The US yielded the highest CO2 neutralization ability of 66.1%, whereas Korea yielded a CO2 neutralization ability of 15%. Future trends of the 2030 eco-CO2 index revealed China and Korea will rapidly lose their neutralization ability resulting in a net negative neutralization ability if left unabated. The significant decline in the eco-CO2 index for the basic metals industry may be inhibited by utilizing bamboo wood charcoal for pulverized coal injection (PCI) in the steelmaking process.

Original languageEnglish
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 by the authors.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Building and Construction
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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