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Steelmaker ArcelorMittal Europe targets 30% cut in carbon emissions by 30% by 2030

ArcelorMittal Europe announced a roadmap to reduce CO2 emissions by 30% by 2030. The target for ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products is in line with an ambition announced in May to be carbon neutral in Europe by 2050.

The roadmap to achieve the 30% target is based on three distinct pathways that have the potential to deliver a significant reduction in carbon emissions, including:

  • Clean power steelmaking, using clean power as the energy source for hydrogen-based steelmaking, and longer term for direct electrolysis steelmaking;

  • Circular carbon steelmaking, which uses circular carbon energy sources, such as waste biomass, to displace fossil fuels in steelmaking, thereby enabling low-emissions steelmaking; and

  • Fossil fuel carbon capture and storage, where the current method of steel production is maintained but the carbon is then captured and stored or re-used rather than emitted into the atmosphere.


Key to the success of the roadmap, and ArcelorMittal Europe’s ambition to be carbon neutral by 2050, will be supportive policy to ensure a global level playing field. Thus, ArcelorMittal supports the European Commission’s Green Deal, and believes the right market mechanisms are a critical part of enabling the deployment of low-emissions steelmaking.

This includes a carbon border adjustment complementary to the existing ETS and the Just Transition Fund, to invest in research, innovation and green technology.

Initiatives and technologies underway or to be implemented at ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products’ different sites include:

  • Carbalyst – capture waste gases from the blast furnace and biologically convert it into bio-ethanol. The €120-million launch project, developed in partnership with LanzaTech, at ArcelorMittal Ghent is expected to be completed in 2020. Once completed, it will capture ~15% of available waste gases and convert those into 80 million liters of ethanol annually. LCA studies predict a CO2 reduction of up to 87% from Carbalyst bio-ethanol compared with fossil transport fuels. (Earlier post.)

  • IGAR – captures waste CO2 from the blast furnace and converts it into a synthetic gas that can be reinjected into the blast furnace in place of fossil fuels to reduce iron ore. An industrial pilot of this technology is being developed at ArcelorMittal Dunkirk in France.

  • Torero – €40-million investment to convert waste wood into bio-coal to displace the fossil fuel coal currently injected into the blast furnace. The first large scale demonstration plant in ArcelorMittal Ghent is expected to be in operation by the end of 2020.

  • H2 Hamburg – €65-million investment at Hamburg site to increase the use of hydrogen for the direct reduction of iron ore. The installation will generate the hydrogen from gas separation of the waste gases at the existing plant and demonstrate the technology with an annual production of 100,000 tonnes of iron per year. In the future, the plant should also be able to run on green hydrogen (generated from renewable sources) when it is available in sufficient quantities at affordable prices.

  • Carbon capture and storage – integrating breakthrough technologies to bring down the costs of capturing, purifying and liquifying CO2 from waste gases. Construction of a carbon capture and storage pilot project, 3D, will begin at ArcelorMittal Dunkirk in 2020 and will be able to capture 0.5 metric tons of CO2 an hour from steelmaking gases by 2021.

We are committed to the decarbonization of the steel industry, in line with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the European Union’s commitment to net-zero by 2050 as announced in the Green Deal this week. Our roadmap and the emissions reduction target of 30% by 2030 for Europe is a big step in the right direction. It’s not a one-size-fits-all model, as different parts of our business are at varying starting points. For some sites, certain technologies will work while others will be suited to another route. We’ve spent the last few years testing a range of technologies and now is the time to scale up and put them into action, with the support of the EU and member states, to ensure we are able to fully decarbonize.

—Geert Van Poelvoorde, CEO ArcelorMittal Europe – Flat Products



They're going in the right direction, but when full decarbonization requires major or complete replacement of the current technology this is just a stopgap.  If we're going to reduce iron ore, we really need hydrogen or electrolytic processes.

Fortunately, steel is highly recycled.  Re-melting steel scrap only needs arc or induction furnaces, which are already electric.


"... convert waste wood into bio-coal..." Bio-coal? I think that used to be called charcoal. Historically, a lot of forests were cut down to create charcoal for making iron before being replaced with cheaper coke from coal.

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