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.