Trailblazing €35 Million Bio-coal Plant

ArcelorMittal
ArcelorMittalImage Source: ArcelorMittal

Synopsis:

ArcelorMittal Belgium pioneers the Torero plant, converting waste wood to bio-coal for their Gent steelmaking site, aiming to cut 112,500 metric tons of CO2 annually. Bio-coal usage in blast furnaces will generate bio-gas for ethanol production at the Steelanol facility, furthering Europe's carbon capture and utilization endeavors.

Article:

In a groundbreaking move, ArcelorMittal Belgium inaugurates its €35 million Torero plant, a pioneering venture in the European steel industry. This innovative facility specializes in converting waste wood into bio-coal, a pivotal step in reducing carbon emissions at the Gent steelmaking site.

The Torero plant's successful production of bio-coal, achieved through the torrefaction process, marked a milestone as it was utilized in a blast furnace at Gent on December 18. This strategic initiative aims to curtail annual carbon emissions by an impressive 112,500 metric tons, slashing the dependence on fossil coal in the furnace. The industrial-scale Torero demonstration plant is slated to convert 88,000 metric tons of waste wood into 37,500 metric tons of bio-coal annually.

The utilization of bio-coal in the blast furnace process is projected to yield bio-gas, a byproduct that undergoes capture and transformation into ethanol at ArcelorMittal Gent's Steelanol facility. This noteworthy initiative stands as Europe's inaugural carbon capture and utilization (CCU) project. Recent industrial-scale ethanol production commencement at the Steelanol plant marks a significant stride towards the facility's full operation. This ethanol serves as a fundamental ingredient in manufacturing diverse chemical products spanning transport fuels, paints, plastics, clothing, and perfumes, contributing to the chemical sector's decarbonization initiatives.

The Torero project, a recipient of European Union funding from the Horizon 2020 research and Innovation Framework Program, boasts a comprehensive consortium involving various stakeholders. From industry giants like ArcelorMittal to esteemed research entities such as Joanneum Research, University of Graz, and Chalmers Technical University, to technology developers like Perpetual Next (formerly TorrCoal), the collaboration spans the entire value chain.

The construction phase, commencing in 2018, generated 70 external employee positions. Furthermore, the Torero plant's operational phase is set to create 16 new permanent direct jobs at ArcelorMittal Belgium.

ArcelorMittal Europe's ambitious goals include a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2030 and achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Conclusion:

ArcelorMittal's innovative Torero plant, a game-changer in the European steel industry, promises significant strides in carbon emission reduction. The successful conversion of waste wood to bio-coal not only curbs CO2 emissions but also feeds into a pioneering carbon capture and utilization project, aligning with Europe's broader sustainability goals.

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