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From residual steel gasses to methanol

Periodic Reporting for period 2 - FReSMe (From residual steel gasses to methanol)

Reporting period: 2018-03-01 to 2019-06-30

The Iron and Steel industry is responsible for 7% of world CO2 emissions, where a major component (20-25%) of the gas is emitted from primary energy consumers. Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) can achieve significant CO2 reductions in emissions.
In this context, FReSMe wants to demonstrate the feasibility of valorising CO2 and H2 capture from Blast Furnace Gases by turning it into a versatile platform chemical and renewable fuel such as methanol. The overall concept of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of methanol fuel synthetized from captured CO2 and H2 from BFG plus H2 produced using surplus renewable energy.
The main benefits derived from the project are the following:
• Provide a valorisation alternative for captured CO2 from the emission intensive steel production which contributes to building a more attractive business case around CCS.
• Contribute to use a greener methanol fuel and to achieve the EC´s ambitious targets for renewable energy use in 2020 and 2030, increasing energy security and sovereignty by reducing fossil fuel imports.
Work Package 1 has been completed and what is left until M48 is the coordination and follow-up from the Coordinator, to make sure everything is being complied with in terms of ethics requirements.

Work Package 2 is underway, so far:
-Common design practice, basis of design, basic engineering and detailed engineering work has been completed during the 2nd period of the project. Besides further detailing of the individual sub-systems, the report covers the description of the control narrative, start-up, shut-down and emergency shutdown events and the HAZOP analysis.
-During second reporting period procurement has been done for all equipment and contracts and the installations/deliveries have been completed.
-The installation and construction of the pilot plant is progressing well thanks to good cooperation between the partners and with external contractors and vendors.
-Commissioning is to be started during the following months.

Work Package 3 is underway. Experimentally wise, NIC has tested a handful of in-house synthesized Cu/perovskite structure catalysts on TiO2 or Al2O3 support. The catalytic methanol synthesis experiments were performed in a system of five parallel reactors, operated at different pressures, temperatures and residence time.
Multiscale simulations were performed to study the atomistic and meso scale properties of catalytic methanol synthesis. Using density function theory (DFT) methods, we screened four candidate catalyst structures. The reaction pathway with possible intermediates and transition states was constructed, then the energetics of the process for all four catalytic surfaces calculate. This served as an input for the kinetic Monte Carlo (kMC) simulations, from which we obtained the selectivity and activity at industrially relevant operating conditions.

Work Package 4 is underway, so far:
-The sorbent and catalyst are being produced and will be supplied at sufficient quantities for pilot testing at Swerim in Luleå, Sweden.
-For the CO2 sorbent, the reactor is filled with material to be used in the 1st campaign.
-The base material required for the 2nd and 3rd campaign has been produced.
-Shaping to produce the pelletized sorbent will be performed Q1 2020.
-The catalyst needed for the Methanol unit is going to be supplied by CRI in Q4 2019.
-The guard bed material for H2S polishing will be delivered by Array Q3 2019.
-The planning for the campaigns has been started. Ideally, the 3 campaigns are combined as much as possible, to reduce the time required for pilot preparations, start-up and shut-down.

Work Package 5 is underway:
-Scenarios for integration of SEWGS-methanol production with steelworks have been studied with numerous options evaluated. Trends for energy consumption, emissions, and also elucidate impact of intermittent renewables have been evaluated.
-To evaluate electrolysis and total system energy demand for variable methanol production rates, two different cases have been considered for the FReSMe system.
- Modelling of SEWGS cycles with alternative gas mixtures derived from the basic oxygen furnace and the coke oven plant has been carried out.
-The availability of high quality heat and steam available at their integrated steel mill for integration use within a FReSMe implementation has been evaluated. The main focus was on integration of the Coke Dry Quenching (CDQ).

Work Package 6 is underway:
- The optimisation of the integration of the methanol plant with the steel plant is progressing well.
- Within the framework of WP6.2 the preliminary LCI was completed
- Assessment the new opportunities for advanced fuels of non-biological origins such as those from carbon capture and reuse and/or renewable electricity has been made.

Work Package 7 is underway:
- Activities to ensure appropriate project management and coordination have been carried out through the organisation of meetings and constant communication with the partners.
- Several dissemination activities are being monitored and carried out by the consortium.
- There is focus on the establishment of commercial relationships with industries willing to use the technology and it is underway.
As advancement beyond the state-of-the-art, this project represents the first overall demonstration of methanol production and use from residual gases in the Iron & Steel industry and both BFG and electrolysis for supplemental H2. Within FReSMe a CO2 sorbent and cycle development will be set up, together with catalyst development and process optimisation for residual steel gases in the conversion to methanol.
The societal impacts will play a significant role in the project. The process is an example of how the right combination of technology and innovation might lead to an efficient use of renewable power while CO2 emission reductions are being accomplished and additional economic income is obtained through the sales of methanol.
Being environmentally friendly and fostering sustainability can be an additional source of revenues and wealth if the appropriate technologies are developed with the needed industry bias. In this case, FReSMe will combine the best available knowledge, from chemical engineering to standard industrial processes in order to obtain a profit from the economic and environmental (CO2 capture and fossil fuel substitution) perspectives.
The impact of the proposed concepts on job creation, both direct and indirect may largely be viewed as the creation of the demand of highly skilled professionals (predominantly engineers), who are to be responsible for technology adaptation, deployment and operation. Bromberg and Chen estimated that methanol plants can create between 50 and 120 direct jobs depending on size and output capacity. Hence, for the steel plant it can be assumed that 80 direct jobs can be created. Indirect job creation has been estimated at 560 jobs.
The impacts from the project would be:
- Demonstration, in the relevant environment and scale of the technical and economic feasibility of novel and environmentally friendly processes for CO2 conversion of high volume added value products such as chemicals and/or fuels
- Reduction of the emissions of greenhouse gases on full LCA basis
- Significant decrease of the costs of CCU vs. CCS
- Improved energy and resource intensity with respect to conventional manufacturing of the product