Posts Tagged ‘CCS’

EBRD: Little future for carbon capture in the steel industry

SBB 23 April A critical lack of funding and the high cost of developing and implementing carbon capture and storage (CCS) mean it is unlikely to become widespread in the steel industry, senior advisor to the European Bank of Reconstruction & Development, Christopher Beauman told delegates at Platts Steel Business Briefing’s third annual Green Steel Strategies conference in Berlin.

Some funding is being made available in Europe, pointed out Baroness Worthington of Sandbag which campaigns for action on climate change. The European Commission has made revenues from the sale of 300m carbon credits available to CCS projects, with a current market value of around €2.25bn ($2.97bn).

However, the funding is not sufficient to counteract the huge cost of investment. A relatively cost-efficient steelmaker would become unsustainable if it carried the cost of installing CCS alone. The funding in Europe is insufficient and there is even less of it available in other regions, Beauman argued. Furthermore, the funding that is available is focused almost entirely on the power sector.

In Europe the only steelmaking CCS project remains ArcelorMittal’s project at Florange in France. This intends to develop a top-gas recycling blast furnace which will produce waste gases with no carbon monoxide, making them suitable for underground storage. Part the Europe’s Ultra-Low CO2 Steelmaking (ULCOS) project, the plant is expected to generate results by 2014.

There is some chance that CCS funding will become available in China as Beijing has noted that it is a technology it wants to develop in the current five-year plan (2011-2015). However, this too is likely to be focused on the power sector and the availability of storage sites may also be an issue, Beauman said.

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.

LKAB’s ‘green’ DRI plant may come on line in 2011-2012

ULCOS – the programme of the European steel producers to develop new “Ultra Low” CO2 emitting steel-making processes seems to be gathering pace. Besides this project in Sweden, Corus has the HIsarna project in IJmuiden and ArcelorMittal is developing the TGR. There may be others as well? But all these projects will take many years to evaluate and ultimately also seem fairly dependent on the untried CCS. It would be useful to know the forecast impact on production costs, and the expected cut in CO2 emissions for each process.

SBB 23 Aug 2010 Swedish iron ore miner LKAB will take the final decision on building a test plant for its new low emissions DRI-making process, ULCORED, in Luleå early next year, a representative has told Steel Business Briefing.

The plant would take nine months to complete once the decision has been made, meaning it could be commissioned in late 2011 or early 2012. However, the company representative did not comment on funding.

The facility, part of the international Ultra Low-Carbon Steelmaking (ULCOS) project, will use natural gas and waste gases as the reducing agent rather than coke, eliminating the need for carbon dioxide-emitting coke ovens.

In addition, the remaining waste gas from the process would be very pure CO2 and therefore suitable for carbon capture and storage (CCS), SBB understands.

LKAB also said it is starting a new round of testing at its experimental Top-Gas Recycling (TGR) blast furnace in September. Pure oxygen is introduced to the blast furnace instead of air and waste carbon monoxide is fed back into the furnace. This allows emissions to be reduced and to be pure enough for CCS.

The results of the tests will be used as the basis for testing at ArcelorMittal’s upcoming TGR furnaces at Eissenhüttenstadt in Germany and Florange in France, LKAB added.

Corus is also hosting another ULCOS project, Hisarna, in IJmuiden, which could be commissioned in early January 2011, as previously reported.