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Arcelormittal and Lanzatech Break Ground on Blast Furnace Carbon Capture Project

 June 11, 2018

ArcelorMittal has begun construction of new premises at its site in Ghent, Belgium, to house a pioneering new installation which will convert carbon-containing gas from its blast furnaces into bioethanol.

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.

"We are excited that after several years of research and engineering, we are now progressing with the largest project of its kind within the ArcelorMittal group. This is the first application of a viable new business case where re-use of carbon is possible at large scale. We will achieve significant carbon reduction and we hope that this will lead us to a lower carbon economy," says Carl De Maré, vice president of Technology Strategy at ArcelorMittal. "This new Carbon Smart technology illustrates ArcelorMittal's commitment to transforming steel production and it will also further strengthen steel's standing in the circular economy, particularly compared to other higher carbon metals like aluminium."

ArcelorMittal will work with specialized partners to roll out this bioethanol technology. Funding was obtained from various sources, including the European Union's Horizon 2020 program, to carry out further research and development and scale up the project. (Carbon Capture Journal)

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