Projects

S2C – Steel2Chemicals

  • Project leader
  • Harry van Dijk
  • ISPT

Connecting chemical and steel industry to produce synthetic naphtha, create a circular value chain and thus reduce CO2 emission.

We are on the verge of an industrial transition that will completely change our view on materials and how to produce them. By 2050, the industry must be fully circular and virtually no greenhouse gas should be emitted. That goal requires an industrial revolution such as we have never experienced before as a contemporary society. The flagship project Steel2Chemicals focuses on the development of a closed value chain in which CO from residual gases from steel production is used as raw material in the chemical industry.

Demand for innovative solutions in an integrated system

The chemical industry is looking for alternatives to their use of fossil resources. This requires innovative technologies. Technologies that can be used on an industrial scale and which are economically feasible and integrated in a new type of value chain: the transition from linear to circular requires other business models, new partnerships (supplier-customer relations) and thus a different (regulatory) playing field.

We are on the verge of an industrial transition that will completely change our view on materials and how to produce them.

The steel industry in its turn is a major contributor to global CO2 emissions with between 1.7 and 2.5 tons of CO2 emitted per ton of steel produced. For this sector, a circular value chain offers a solution to reduce these emissions.

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Steel2Chemicals: towards an industrial symbiosis

By using CO from residual gases from steel production as raw material in the chemical industry, the carbon is stored in a chemical product and not emitted as CO2. This in turn is the raw material for new products which at the end of théir lifecycle can be used as a source of carbon in the steelmaking process. Where CCS offers just a short-term solution, this concept of circular carbon will reduce the demand for fossil-based material and offer a real alternative for linear value chains.

For the steel sector, a circular value chain offers a solution.

Together with ArcelorMittal, Tata Steel, DOW, Ghent University and TNO, ISPT explores the possibility of using carbon monoxide from blast furnaces for the synthesis of naphtha. This ‘synthetic’ naphtha can (partly) replace the demand for fossil naphtha used to produce e.g. ethylene, a major chemical building block and starting materials for plastics. Steel2Chemicals focuses on demonstrating the technical and economic feasibility of this value chain.

The challenges of converting steel gases into synthetic naphtha

In realizing this new technology to close the carbon circle, the partners in the Steel2Chemicals project are confronted with some challenging issues:

  • How to separate CO from CO2, N2 and other impurities?
  • How to demonstrate the catalyst is suitable to convert CO to naphtha in an industrial environment?
  • Which conditions make this symbiosis of steel and chemical industries technically and economically feasible?
  • How to demonstrate the robustness and replication potential of this new route?

Activities Steel2Chemical project

The Steel2Chemical partners are working in 4 trajectories:

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Grant provider

This project is co-funded by TKI-E&I with the supplementary grant 'TKI- Toeslag' for Topconsortia for Knowledge and Innovation (TKI’s) of the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Policy.

Sustainable development goals

This project contributes to the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Project partners

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