ArcelorMittal & LanzaTech: Ethanol Milestone in Ghent

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by KnowESG,


KnowESG_ArcelorMittal and LanzaTech carbon capture technology
Image courtesy of ArcelorMittal

ArcelorMittal and LanzaTech have taken a significant step forward in the development of ArcelorMittal's carbon capture and utilisation (CCU) facility in Ghent, Belgium.

The pioneering €200 million 'Steelanol' facility, powered by LanzaTech's innovative carbon utilisation technology, is poised to revolutionise the European steel industry.

The facility, inaugurated in December 2022, is designed to capture carbon-rich waste gases from steelmaking and convert them into advanced ethanol using LanzaTech's bio-based process.

Unlike traditional methods, this process ferments gases instead of sugars and employs a biocatalyst instead of yeast. Following successful inoculation with the biocatalyst, initial samples containing ethanol have been produced, marking a significant milestone in the project's advancement.

With the upcoming ramp-up of production, the Steelanol plant aims to produce commercial-scale ethanol from bioreactors in the following months. Advanced ethanol can serve as a sustainable building block for various products, including transport fuels, packaging materials, apparel, and fragrances. The Carbalyst® brand, jointly marketed by ArcelorMittal and LanzaTech, will represent ethanol.

Once fully operational, the Steelanol plant will have the capacity to produce 80 million litres of advanced ethanol annually, meeting approximately half of Belgium's current demand. Additionally, it is expected to reduce carbon emissions from the Ghent plant by 125,000 tonnes each year, contributing to the EU's 2030 Climate Target Plan.

The project's partners include Primetals Technologies and E4tech, with support from CINEA, the European Climate, Infrastructure, and Environment Executive Agency. By leveraging carbon recycling, the Steelanol plant demonstrates the circular use of carbon and eliminates the concept of single-use carbon waste, effectively contributing to sustainability and decarbonisation efforts.

"This is a momentous occasion," said Jennifer Holmgren, CEO of LanzaTech. "We have shown the world what is possible at an industrial scale today by capturing emissions to make everyday products. This collaboration between LanzaTech, ArcelorMittal, and other partners has created a vision of a new circular carbon economy in Europe, displacing fossil carbon from the ground."

Manfred Van Vlierberghe, CEO of ArcelorMittal Belgium, highlighted the importance of industrial symbiosis and the Steelanol facility's role in facilitating resource sharing between sectors. The Smart Carbon Strategy, developed by ArcelorMittal, embraces sustainability and circularity principles, addressing climate, CO2, and waste challenges.

The LanzaTech process employed at the Steelanol site offers flexibility, allowing the use of industrial gases from existing steel production methods and the ability to adapt to future technologies with increased green hydrogen input. LanzaTech is already operating three commercial facilities, and two additional facilities in Asia are expected to launch before year-end.

Funding for the Steelanol facility was secured from various sources, including the Flemish government, the Belgian federal government, and the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme.

With the Steelanol facility set to achieve full operational capacity by the end of the year, ArcelorMittal and LanzaTech continue their mission to drive sustainable practices and combat climate change in the steel industry.

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Source: LanzaTech


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