ArcelorMittal will trial a new technology to capture and re-use carbon waste gases from it steel making process in Asturias, Spain as part of an effort to reduce dependence on fossil resources and thereby decarbonise its operations.

The steel and mining company on Tuesday (20th July) confirmed the news as part of a new partnership with Japan-based Sekisui Chemical which aims to demonstrate the ability of its newly developed technology which will be utilised at the plant.

Under the project plans, carbon dioxide (CO2) which would have otherwise been emitted at the site, will be separated and recovered from carbon-rich waste gas from the steelmaking process.

A chemical process, developed by Sekisui Chemical will then be utilised to convert the waste CO2 into carbon monoxide rich synthesis gas which is comprised of carbon monoxide and hydrogen.

The produced synthesis gas will then be returned into the steelmaking process as an alternative reduction agent for iron ore to lower the volume of fossil resources required in the whole steelmaking process.

It is believed the technology will be trialled for three years at the site and will cost $1.9m

Commenting on the plans, Pinakin Chaubal, Chief Technology Officer at ArcelorMittal, said, “This is an exciting albeit early-stage technology which complements our existing carbon capture and re-use or storage technology (CCUS) initiatives.” 

“Successfully decarbonising steelmaking will involve multiple technologies and we expect CCUS technologies to have an important role to play. This view is shared by the International Energy Agency which said in its recent ‘Net Zero by 2050’ report that CCUS technologies will be attached to over 50% of steel production by 2050.”

Katsunori Mukai, Director of Corporate R&D at Sekisui Chemical, added, “Sekisui Chemical has been developing basic technologies for sustainable societies. One of them is focussed on give ‘life to CO2’ by enabling carbon recycling in manufacturing industries.”

“In this inter-industry partnership with ArcelorMittal, we are aiming to reduce the carbon emissions of the steel industry.”