JFE’s hopes for cheap large-scale carbon capture by 2015

Many heavily polluting industries are relying on carbon capture and storage to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions in the medium term. However, the process is currently prohibitively expensive. A number of steelmakers and therefore conducting research into new, cheaper, processes for isolating the carbon dioxide in their emissions.

SBB 22 November 2010 Japan’s JFE Engineering has completed tests on a new carbon capture and storage (CCS) method which could cut costs by half. The steel group now hopes to carry out a larger test which would seek to capture several thousand tonnes a day of CO2, Steel Business Briefing learns from a source close to the company.

The new method, which has been developed jointly by JFE Engineering and the New Energy & Industrial Development Organisation (NEDO), could cut costs by around ¥2,500 ($30) per tonne of CO2, or about half, JFE claims.

The company hopes the method could become commercially viable in just five years time. Tests have so far been conducted at a rate of 3 t/d but a second test phase of several thousand t/d and a third phase of tens of thousands of t/d are already being talked of.

However, funding to continue the project has not yet been secured nor has a site for further testing been chosen, SBB understands. JFE Steel is the country’s second largest steelmaker and a prime candidate for CCS. However, the company did not respond to questions by SBB’s publishing deadline.

Nippon Steel is also researching CCS technology as part of the Course50 low-carbon dioxide steelmaking research project in collaboration with NEDO, SBB notes.


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