Having successfully completed the first, four-year phase of the ambitious Carbon2Chem project which it initiated, thyssenkrupp is now moving ahead into phase 2, with a new €75 million grant from the German federal government.
Over the past four years, working with 16 other partners on the project, fundamental insights were garnered into how steel mill process gases could be converted into chemical products.
Important milestones were also reached. A pilot plant in Duisburg, Germany opened in March 2018, where for the first time, ammonia, methanol and higher alcohols were successfully produced from steel mill process gases. The Carbon2Chem uses both the CO2 and the hydrogen in these gasses.
In addition, with a view to climate-neutral production, a two megawatt alkaline water electrolyser from thyssenkrupp Uhde Chlorine Engineers was installed in the pilot plant, which was found to be able to be operated on highly volatile renewable energy without suffering damage.
Chemical synthesis using commercially available catalysts and gas cleaning using commercially available process stages, all implemented by thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions, offered proof of the high technology readiness level (TRL) of the project.
Its commercial viability, as well as the positive ecological effect, were also confirmed by all project partners.
During this second four-year phase, again, with funding from the German Ministry of Education and Research, the project aims to demonstrate long-term stability in the complex interactions between steel production and chemical synthesis. In addition, the solution will be broadened to include different industries to show that the Carbon2Chem technology can be upscaled quickly in a cross-industry network. The focus will therefore be on the transferability of the technology to other industries besides steel production. Additional sectors that will be considered in the project as major CO2 sources include, for example, cement and lime producers and waste incineration Lastly, the second phase of the project will serve to bring the project to market readiness.
According to Klaus Keysberg, Chief Financial Officer of thyssenkrupp AG, the company is already seeing worldwide interest in the technology.
“With this continued funding, the joint project can now be developed to market readiness. In just a few years we want to use Carbon2Chem on an industrial scale.”
Carbon2Chem an integral part of thyssenkrupp’s decarbonisation strategy. As well as avoiding CO2 emissions through the use of hydrogen in steel production, the company is banking on the technology to utilise and avoid residual emissions. Carbon2Chem is expected to help reduce CO2 emissions at thyssenkrupp’s steel mill by 30 percent in 2030, supporting the company’s ambition to reach complete climate neutrality by 2050.