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Production of sustainable, advanced bio-ethANOL through an innovative gas-fermentation process using exhaust gases emitted in the STEEL industry

Periodic Reporting for period 3 - STEELANOL (Production of sustainable, advanced bio-ethANOL through an innovative gas-fermentation process using exhaust gases emitted in the STEEL industry)

Reporting period: 2017-11-01 to 2020-06-30

The project, aimed to produce ethanol from steel waste gas, will be sufficient to fuel half a million cars with ethanol blended gasoline. It will demonstrate the added value of recycling waste streams, not only by reducing emissions at source, hence reducing ArcelorMittal Europe’s direct carbon footprint, but by keeping fossil fuels in the ground through the production of commodity chemicals and fuels that would otherwise be made from oil. The resulting ethanol is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 80 per cent. It will predominantly be used in gasoline blending, but it can also be further processed into other products such as drop in jet fuel. The construction of the €120 million flagship pilot project, which will be located at ArcelorMittal Europe’s steel plant in Ghent, Belgium, commended in 2019, with ethanol production expected to start end 2021, with full capacity production end of 2022. ArcelorMittal, which has been working on this project since 2011, has signed a long-term partnership agreement with LanzaTech. If scaled up to its full potential in Europe, the technology could enable the production of around 80 million litres of bioethanol a year. Primetals Technologies will be responsible for part of the engineering, automation, key equipment and commissioning. E4tech will conduct a Life Cycle assessment to understand the environmental impacts in greater detail.
The steelanol team has realized the following milestones in the project:
- The basic and detailed engineering of the steelanol plant has been finalized
- Construction is progressed significantly with steel works and part of the main packages completed.
- On the project a wide dissemination has been established via the media, website (www. publications, conferences, etc.
- Business plan has been developed and updated
- Recognition as biofuel had been obtained from EU DG Climate and DG Energy
The Steelanol project targets the construction of Europe’s first-ever commercial scale production facility to create bioethanol from waste gases produced during steelmaking process. Gas fermentation is an innovative option for further valorization of steel process gases, complementary to the current power plant use and use of the gases for internal thermal energy production.
Steelanol is eliminating the GHG emissions of 50 000 ton of coal and 80 million liter of gasoline over the total chain. Based on Life Cycle Assessment studies the process realizes GHG savings > 70%, as required by RED II and without any food or land use issues. ArcelorMittal Gent has optimised innovative solutions to replace coke by injected carbon (coal or cellulosic waste) and oxygen which is gasified during blow in at the bottom of the BF.