On December 8 2022, ArcelorMittal held an opening event to inaugurate its flagship carbon capture and utilisation (‘CCU’) project at its steel plan in Ghent, Belgium. The €200 million ‘Steelanol’ project is a first of its kind for the European steel industry.
Utilising cutting edge carbon recycling technology developed by our project partner LanzaTech, the CCU plant uses biocatalysts to transform carbon-rich waste gases from the steelmaking process and from waste biomass into advanced ethanol, which can then be used as a building block to produce a variety of chemical products including transport fuels, paints, plastics, clothing and even cosmetic perfume, hence helping to support the decarbonisation efforts of the chemical sector. The advanced ethanol will be jointly marketed by ArcelorMittal and LanzaTech under the Carbalyst® brand name.
Once production reaches full capacity the Steelanol plant will produce 80 million litres of advanced ethanol, almost half of the total current advanced ethanol demand for fuel mixing in Belgium. It will reduce annual carbon emissions from the Ghent plant by 125,000 tonnes. Other partners involved in the Steelanol project are Primetals Technologies and E4tech.
ArcelorMittal Ghent will soon inaugurate another first for the European steel industry, with its ‘Torero’ project set to come on stream in the first quarter of 2023. The €35 million Torero project is designed to process sustainable biomass (initially in the form of waste wood that cannot be used in other applications) for use as a raw material input into the blast furnace, hence lowering the volume of fossil coal used. This project will reduce annual carbon emissions in Ghent by 112,500 tonnes. ArcelorMittal Ghent intends to add a second reactor to its Torero project over the next two years, hence doubling the size of the project.
Aditya Mittal, CEO ArcelorMittal:“The imperative to accelerate the road to net zero has never been greater. Given the scale of the challenge, it’s important to be open to all technology solutions and certainly, at ArcelorMittal we are open to all technologies that can take steelmaking to near zero. The investments we are planning here at Ghent are a great testament to that. It’s also become abundantly clear that collaboration and partnership is essential to deliver the systems-wide change we need to reach zero, as this project demonstrates. We have worked closely together with a wide group of stakeholders here in Belgium and indeed also more broadly across Europe, on the conditions and infrastructure that support the investment in these types of technologies and the transition to net zero. I want to thank everyone who has supported our efforts and made today – the inauguration of the European steel industry’s first carbon capture and utilisation plant – possible.”
Text and image: ArcelorMittal