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Advanced Carbon Capture for steel industries integrated in CCUS Clusters

Periodic Reporting for period 1 - C4U (Advanced Carbon Capture for steel industries integrated in CCUS Clusters)

Reporting period: 2020-04-01 to 2021-09-30

C4U is a holistic interdisciplinary project addressing all the essential elements required for the optimal integration of CO2 capture in the iron & steel industry as part of the CCUS chain. This spans demonstration of highly efficient CO2 capture technologies at TRL7 designed for optimal integration into an iron & steel plant and detailed consideration of the safety, environmental, societal, policy and business aspects for successful incorporation into the North Sea Port CCUS cluster.
C4U accords with the strong consensus to intensify R&D work on the development of promising breakthrough CO2 capture technologies leading to needed step-change impacts on reducing CO2 emissions in the iron & steel industry. C4U contributes to de-risking of new technologies, while recognising the needs of sequential and stepwise approaches for decreasing the cost of capturing CO2 from diverse streams in an integrated steel mill, together with further needs of a common shared infrastructure (i.e. a CCUS cluster). C4U helps to secure jobs in the iron & steel and ancillary industries in Europe, ultimately reducing the potential for carbon leakage. For assessment of public and political acceptance and societal readiness, C4U involves an exploration of framing CCUS in a Just Transition, for preserving employment and economic possibilities while addressing the energy transition. Through direct industrial stakeholder involvement, C4U enhances innovation capacity, market opportunities, competitiveness and growth at the European level.
C4U aims to achieve four overall research objectives:
• Elevate two CO2 capture technologies, known as DISPLACE and CASOH, from TRL5 to TRL7 & design for optimal integration in the steel industry,
• Analyse the economic, environmental and business impacts and opportunities of applying CCUS in a large-scale (TRL9) steel plant in the North Sea Port industrial cluster,
• Develop and test approaches with stakeholders and end-users to assess and advance societal readiness for CCUS in industrial clusters,
• Ensure that the project’s results are exploited to the full extent and disseminated to relevant stakeholders to facilitate the large-scale rollout of CCUS.
The activities thus far for the CASOH and DISPLACE CO2 capture pilots have involved the engineering design and construction phases. Both plants have completed the Basis of Design, which defines the scope for all activities that will be performed over the project. This includes determining where equipment will be built, unit sizes and partner responsibilities for operations and material delivery. The pilot plants will use industrial process gases from steel mills. Both pilots completed the Detailed Engineering design, which includes developing piping & instrumentation diagrams, HAZOP studies and equipment procurement. These defined all instruments and elements of the pilots, operating modes and control strategies. The construction phases of both pilots have begun. Functional materials for the CASOH pilot were screened at lab-scale and tonne-scale batches were shipped to the testing site.
We perform the detailed integration and performance assessment of reference and DISPLACE and CASOH technologies for integration in a steel plant. Amine based adsorption was selected as the reference technology and the calculation of its performance were finalised. Detailed modelling of C4U capture processes was also performed.
System modelling and Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) methods to integrate the C4U capture technologies in the steel plant as part of an industrial cluster were developed. Impurities in CO2 streams captured from steelworks & removal methods were identified. Mathematical models for CCUS cluster optimisation were developed. CCUS cluster scenarios based on future developments in the North Sea Port industries were defined. Experimental campaigns to assess CO2 pipeline safety were prepared, including drafting safety protocols. The solubility of impurities in CO2 was characterised.
A literature review was undertaken which compares impacts of different steel production decarbonisation technology on society. Reviews on risks and challenges for CCUS and conditions that enable business models success were carried out. An overview of UK’s CCUS cluster developments and support packages was provided for identifying transferable learnings. Industrial clusters stakeholder analysis for identifying CCUS business model impacts was undertaken.
C4U tackles the scale-up of CO2 capture technologies from TRL5 to TRL7, while trialling innovative functional materials under different operating conditions and developing novel reactor processes for steel mill off-gases. C4U is expected to significantly improve the performance of these CO2 capture technologies in accordance to key performance indicators. The reliability of C4U capture demonstrators via 4000 hrs of operational time in TRL7 pilots will be validated.
Process simulation and design for integration of C4U technology into steel plant while considering a range of different gas sources and determining fixed and operating costs is performed according to plant operating conditions and results from TRL7 pilots. Novel analysis of the CO2 capture / transport interface for the design and operation of CO2 compression and purification is developed. Feasibility studies are carried out to assess chemical synthesis within an industrial cluster using H2-rich by-product streams from C4U capture technology.
Industrial CCUS cluster operation and logistics is studied in C4U, involving evaluating performance metrics (economics, energy, safety, environment & public support). C4U assesses new technologies through analysis of scale-up using LCA with methods developed and applied to determine industrial cluster level environmental impact of capture technologies and integration opportunities with other industries. This enables the evaluation C4U capture technology potential to contribute to cost reduction of decarbonising an industrial cluster under 2030 & 2050 emission reduction targets. This ensures the economic demonstration of an integrated CCUS chain, while accelerating learning to facilitate fast CCUS deployment.
C4U elucidates a framework on how societal readiness for CCUS can be described and assessed. This helps to gain insight into the social and political dynamics for CCUS in the North Sea Port cluster by developing an engaging narrative in consultation with end-users and stakeholders. Policy instruments for implementation of CCUS in steel plants in industrial clusters as well as governance arrangements will be identified and evaluated.
Novel business models will be formulated in consultation with stakeholders in a CCUS industrial cluster while assessing risks and barriers to deployment of infrastructure, cash-flow, risk management instruments, funding sources, capital financing and ownership structure,
A major expected impact is the contribution to the preservation of high quality employment and economic possibilities in the Iron & Steel industry while addressing the low carbon energy transition, thus leading to wealth creation, economic prosperity and enhanced quality of life. While job creation brings clear economic advantages, it also poses a challenge in terms of meeting the personnel skills. C4U will have an impact in assisting in this via the involved academic institutions’ educational programmes and research led teaching derived from the project outputs.