ArcelorMittal investigates industrial use of hydrogen

To permanently reduce CO2 emissions, ArcelorMittal has developed a low-emissions technology strategy, which targets not only the use of alternative feedstocks and the conversion of CO2 emissions, but also the direct avoidance of carbon (Carbon Direct Avoidance, or CDA).

This year, the Group intends to launch a new project in the ArcelorMittal plant in Hamburg to use hydrogen on an industrial scale for the direct reduction of iron ore in the steel production process for the first time. A pilot plant is to be built in the coming years.

The Hamburg plant has one of the most efficient production processes of the ArcelorMittal Group due to the use of natural gas in a direct reduction plant. The aim of the new hydrogen-based process is to be able to produce steel with the lowest CO2 emissions. The project costs amount to around €65M. In addition, a cooperation agreement with the University of Freiberg is planned to test the procedure in the coming years at the Hamburg plant premises. The hydrogen-based reduction of iron ore will initially take place on a demonstration scale with an annual production of 100,000 tonnes.

In the process, the separation of H2 with a purity of more than 95% from the top gas of the existing plant should be achieved by so-called pressure swing adsorption. The process is first tested with grey hydrogen (generated at gas separation) to allow for economical operation. 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.

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