Steelanol’s Ghent plant achieved a groundbreaking feat, initiating large-scale ethanol production from captured carbon gases. This pioneering initiative, led by ArcelorMittal, LanzaTech, ERM (now E4tech), and Primetals Technologies, exemplifies Europe’s first Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) endeavor, promising to significantly reduce annual carbon emissions while producing sustainable ethanol for diverse applications.
In a remarkable achievement, Steelanol’s CCU plant in Ghent, Belgium, marked a monumental milestone in November 2023 with the commencement of large-scale ethanol production. This historic event heralds the pinnacle of the plant’s operational excellence in converting captured carbon-rich industrial gases into ethanol, epitomizing Europe’s inaugural Carbon Capture and Utilization initiative.
The heart of this transformative breakthrough lies in the innovative process developed by LanzaTech, akin to the workings of a brewery. Through this process, carbon-rich gases, captured from ArcelorMittal Ghent’s blast furnaces, are ingeniously converted into sustainable ethanol using proprietary bacteria, termed “biocatalyst.”
The impact of Steelanol’s initiative extends far beyond emissions reduction. By potentially curbing 125,000 tons of carbon emissions annually, the plant ushers in a new era of sustainability, transforming carbon waste into a valuable resource, ethanol. This versatile end product holds promise across industries, from sustainable aviation fuel to household cleaning products.
The journey towards large-scale ethanol production began with meticulous groundwork in December 2022, followed by rigorous phases of process calibration and inoculation. June 2023 marked a significant milestone with the production of the first ethanol-laden samples, a testament to the meticulous planning and execution of this groundbreaking initiative.
LanzaTech’s pioneering biorecycling technology emerges as a beacon of hope for the steel industry, offering a viable solution for emissions reduction and carbon repurposing. This collaborative effort between Primetals Technologies and LanzaTech, spanning over a decade, signifies a commitment to sustainability, innovation, and transformative strides in environmental stewardship.
Steelanol's successful initiation of large-scale ethanol production from captured carbon gases represents a transformative leap towards sustainability. This pioneering collaboration underscores the potential of converting carbon waste into valuable resources, offering a promising solution for emissions reduction and fostering sustainability in diverse industries.