ArcelorMittal starts new carbon-cutting ethanol plant in Ghent

ArcelorMittal has inaugurated its new carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) “Steelanol” plant in Ghent, Belgium, that will contribute to cut annual carbon emissions by 125,000 tonnes, Kallanish learns from ArcelorMittal.

The plant, which required an investment of €200 million ($209m), was developed by the steelmaker’s partners, LanzaTech, Primetals Technologies and E4tech. It uses biocatalysts to transform steelmaking waste gases into advanced ethanol, which can then be used to produce products such as transport fuels, paints, plastics and clothing. At full capacity, Steelanol will produce 80 million litres of advanced ethanol, “almost half of the total current advanced ethanol demand for fuel mixing in Belgium”, the steelmaker says in a note.

ArcelorMittal Gent is also building a €35m sustainable biomass “Torero” processing plant designed to cut coal use. Scheduled to become operational next year, Torero will process biomasses, such as waste wood, for use as a raw material in the blast furnace, cutting Gent’s CO2 emissions by 112,500 t/year. The company will add a second reactor to the facility over the next two years.

ArcelorMittal intends to cut CO2 emissions by 25% globally by 2030 and by 35% in Europe. The company is investing in decarbonisation technology through its XCarb Innovation Fund and is teaming up with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Engineering (MHIENG), BHP and Mitsubishi Development to develop carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS) technology in Europe and the US. The partners will first implement a large-scale multi-year trial of MHIENG’s system in Ghent, as well as at an unspecified US site.

This Ghent project involves two phases. During the initial stage, the CO2 top gas will be captured from the blast furnace at a rate of around 300 kg/day of CO2. The second phase involves testing the separation and capture of CO2 from the offgases in the hot strip mill reheating furnace, which burns a mixture of industrial gases, including coke gas, blast furnace gases and natural gas (see Kallanish 28 October).

“The work being undertaken here lays the ground for what the steel plant of the future will look like. This is a steel plant which is embracing the latest innovative technologies; which is using sources of circular carbon; which captures and re-uses as many of its waste products as possible, recycling them into something of value; and which is preparing for a future when green hydrogen will remove the need to use any fossil carbon,” Lakshmi Mittal said at this week’s inauguration in Ghent.

Natalia Capra France