If proved successful, the new concept has the potential to revolutionise blast furnace carbon emissions capture and support the decarbonisation of the transport sector.
The technology in the gas conversion process was pioneered by Chicago-based company, LanzaTech, with whom ArcelorMittal has entered a long-term partnership. The technology licensed by LanzaTech uses microbes that feed on carbon monoxide to produce bioethanol. The bioethanol will be used as transport fuel or potentially in the production of plastics.
This is the first installation of its kind on an industrial scale in Europe and once complete, annual production of bioethanol at Ghent is expected to reach around 80 million litres, which will yield an annual CO2 saving equivalent to putting 100,000 electrical cars on the road. The new installation will create up to 500 construction jobs over the next two years and 20 to 30 new permanent direct jobs. Commissioning and first production is expected by mid-2020.
The application of this microbial gas conversion system significantly advances ArcelorMittal’s carbon capture and storage (CCS) and carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) capabilities and enhances steel’s role in the circular economy. ArcelorMittal’s long-term aspiration is to become a zero-waste business, with all materials used or generated during steel production recuperated, treated and reused in the production chain or becoming the raw materials for other industries.