Dr. Joachim von Schéele
Dr. Joachim von Schéele
The Linde Group, China
Title: Technologies to Save Energy and Reduce Emissions in metallurgical Industries

The combustion processes in the metallurgy industries area are a large user of energy and source of emissions. Those are mainly applied for heating, melting, smelting, and reheating of the materials being produced. In general, China produces more than half of the world production of most main metals, for example, steel and aluminium, and two-thirds of the steel production is found in Asia. 

There are two main ways to save energy and reduce emissions in those processes: the Direct Way – the most efficient ways to save energy and decrease emissions are to minimize the need and the generation, respectively; the Indirect Way – energy recycling and post treatment to remove CO2, NOx, SOx, etc. 

There is large short-term opportunity to decrease energy use and emissions from the metallurgical industry sector by using the Direct Way. It has been proven that the need for energy in many of these combustion processes can be reduced by 20-50% by applying different types of oxyfuel combustion – an excellent example of the Direct Way. Reduction of CO2 emissions will follow the reduced energy need. A special combustion technology called Flameless Oxyfuel is also very efficient to reduce NOx emissions. Linde,as a global leading industry gas company, has pioneered the development and implementation of flameless oxyfuel technology in the steel and aluminium industries. Flameless Oxyfuel provides an overall thermal efficiency in the heating of 80%; the commonly used air-fuel that reaches 40-60%. With Flameless Oxyfuel, compared to air-fuel, the energy savings are at least 25%, but many times 50% or even more. The corresponding reduction in CO2 emission is also 25-50%. Savings in terms of NOx emissions are substantial, sometimes exceeding 90%. Flameless Oxyfuel combustion has major advantages over conventional oxyfuel and, even more, over any kind of air-fuel combustion. The improved temperature uniformity is a very important benefit, which also reduces the fuel consumption further. Additionally, a small off-gas volume and a high concentration of CO2 make it increasingly suitable for potential downstream Carbon Capture and Sequestration. 

Over the past decades, there were many hundreds of successful installations of different oxygen and oxyfuel solutions in the metallurgy industry sector, all resulting in reduced fuel consumption and less emissions. Here follows are examples: the REBOX DFI solutions for steel or aluminum sheet annealing; the REBOX solutions for reheating of steel before rolling or forging; OXYGON for preheating of vessels; LTOF for aluminumremelting and recycling; Installations of OXYGON, LTOF and have demonstrated reductions of the hazardous NOx emissions by 60-95%. 

Flameless Oxyfuel solutions are creating benefits for the metallurgy industry sector in terms of cost savings and improved working environment, but also for the society as a whole. This is particularly important in Asia, and not at least in China, with both a large population and a huge heavy industry production.These well established technical solutions can strongly support a quick path to get back the Blue Skies in China!


Joachim von Schéele is The Linde Group’s Global Programme Manager for Metals & Glass and also its Head of Metals & Glass Industries Asia Pacific. He is based in Shanghai, P.R. China. 

He received his MSc in Process Metallurgy and PhD in Metals Production Engineering from Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden in 1987 and 1992, respectively. 

With a mix of research and industry background, Joachim von Schéele joined the industrial gases industry in 1996. Since then, focus has been on extending the practical use of new technologies, particularly related to oxyfuel combustion and energy savings, in different technical and commercial management roles at AGA, BOC and Linde, such as Business Unit Manager, Business Concepts Manager, and Global Marketing Manager. 

He has been doing business in more than 40 countries around the world, frequently directly involved on-site in numerous installations and commissioning projects. He has been heading Linde’s successful approach with flameless oxyfuel installations in the steel and metals industries, and is a world-leading authority on use of oxyfuel in the steel industry. 

Joachim von Schéele holds seven patents and has published more than 150 papers on steel and base metals production, energy and emission conservation, and material recycling. He has served as a member of more than 30 boards of companies, associations, and research and education organizations, and as session chairman at many conferences. Joachim von Schéele is a long term member of VDEh and AIST, and is included in Who’s Who in the World, Who’s Who in Asia, and Who’s Who of Professionals.