Carbon capture trial begins at ArcelorMittal Belgium

ArcelorMittal Gent has started operating a pilot carbon capture unit on its blast furnace off-gas in conjunction with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries (MHI), BHP, and Mitsubishi Development, Kallanish notes.

The pilot unit will operate at the Belgian steelworks for 1-2 years, to test the feasibility of progress to full-scale deployment of the technology to capture a sizeable portion of the Gent site emissions. Engineers have been working on site since January to assemble and commission the unit.

In October 2022, the four parties announced their collaboration on a multi-year trial of MHI’s carbon capture technology (Advanced KM CDR Process) at multiple carbon dioxide emission points, starting at the Gent steelmaking site.

The pilot carbon capture unit will initially be tested with blast furnace off-gases, and off-gases from the hot strip mill reheating furnace. It has the potential to be trialled to capture other important steelmaking gases such as reformer flue gas from a direct reduced iron plant, ArcelorMittal notes.

The development of the carbon capture solution at Gent could feed into multiple CO2 transport and storage projects under development in the North Sea region and contribute to global technological solutions required for decarbonisation of steel production, the firm adds.

Speaking at this week’s Gent consortium meeting, BHP group sales & marketing officer Michiel Hovers said: “This represents real progress in proving up the feasibility of carbon capture for steel production.” Mitsubishi Development chief executive Kenichiro Tauchi added: “This pilot is a significant step towards advancement of carbon capture technology as a potential solution to achieve solid emission reductions in the steel sector.”

This development is separate from ArcelorMittal Gent’s Steelanol facility, an industrial-scale demonstration plant that will capture waste gases from the blast furnace and biologically convert them into recycled carbonethanol. This project, in partnership with LanzaTech, Primetals Technologies and ERM, produced its first industrial ethanol last November.

Christian Koehl Germany