MHI & ArcelorMittal: Steel Carbon Capture & Recycling

ArcelorMittal and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) are collaborating with the climate tech company D-CRBN
ArcelorMittal is collaborating with Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and D-CRBN to Recycle CO2 Emissions from Steel Production, enhancing carbon capture

ArcelorMittal and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) are collaborating with the climate tech company D-CRBN to test a new technology at ArcelorMittal’s plant in Gent, Belgium.

This technology converts captured carbon dioxide (CO2) into carbon monoxide, which can then be used in steel and chemical production.

This marks the first industrial trial of D-CRBN’s plasma technology, making ArcelorMittal Gent the first steel plant worldwide to pilot this CO2-reducing process.

Manfred Van Vlierberghe, CEO, ArcelorMittal Belgium (Image Credit: nieuwesluisterneuzen.eu)

“We are proud to be part of this unique carbon capture and usage trial in Gent, which is part of our strategy to develop the Smart Carbon steelmaking route in ArcelorMittal Belgium.” commented Manfred Van Vlierberghe, CEO, ArcelorMittal Belgium.

“Our team of engineers has worked hard with our partners to reach this stage – and we are thrilled that our new partner, D-CRBN, have created this new CCU technology here in Belgium.”

The new trial builds on an ongoing multi-year carbon capture pilot at the site, which is evaluating the feasibility of full-scale deployment of MHI's Advanced KM CDR Process™ carbon capture technology.

D-CRBN, based in Antwerp, has developed a plasma-based technology that uses renewable electricity to convert CO2 into carbon monoxide by breaking the carbon-oxygen bond.

The resulting carbon monoxide can serve as a reductant in steelmaking, partially replacing coke or metallurgical coal in the blast furnace, or as a feedstock for chemicals or alternative fuel production at Gent’s Steelanol plant.

Gill Scheltjens, CEO at D-CRBN

“D-CRBN is thrilled to partner with ArcelorMittal and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries on this innovative carbon capture and utilization (CCU) pilot project.” Gill Scheltjens, CEO at D-CRBN, said.

Electrifying steel production is challenging, but D-CRBN's process, which recycles CO2 emissions back into CO, offers a cost-effective and scalable solution. 

“Our technology can electrify and decarbonize existing blast furnaces and significantly reduce their coal use.” 

The D-CRBN process requires high-purity CO2, which can be supplied by MHI’s carbon capture unit currently capturing off-gases from the blast furnace and the hot strip mill reheating furnace in Gent.

“The conversion of CO2 back into CO for steel production will limit the need for green hydrogen in the future and reduce the costs of emission-free products.” Gill added.

"Moreover, some of the CO produced can be supplied to neighbouring chemical companies as feedstock.”

A pipeline connecting MHI’s carbon capture unit to D-CRBN’s unit was established on July 1st to test the use of captured CO2 as a feedstock for D-CRBN.

This industrial pilot is crucial for ensuring that impurities in the CO2 from steelmaking do not negatively impact the process or the quality of the product gas.

ArcelorMittal is exploring various decarbonization strategies to meet its climate targets, including a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions from ArcelorMittal Europe by 2030. One such strategy is Smart Carbon steelmaking, which incorporates circular carbon, carbon capture and storage (CCS), or utilisation (CCU).

In May 2024, ArcelorMittal, MHI, BHP, and Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd announced the successful operation of a pilot carbon capture unit on the blast furnace off-gas at ArcelorMittal Gent.

This follows their October 2022 announcement of a multi-year trial of MHI’s Advanced KM CDR Process™ at various CO2 emission points, starting at the Gent steelmaking site.

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“CCUS will play a critical role in decarbonizing existing assets in the steel industry.” said MHI's Senior Vice President (CCUS) of GX (Green Transformation) Solutions, Tatsuto Nagayasu.

“Our collaboration with ArcelorMittal and D-CRBN in Belgium provides another tool for the industry to reduce its carbon footprint — capturing emissions, converting them into a valuable feedstock, and feeding them back into the process.

“This initiative demonstrates our commitment to sustainable practices and innovative solutions for a greener future.”

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