For the time being, there are no economically feasible steelmaking technologies available having the potential to meet the EU’s climate and energy targets for 2030. At best, a 15% decrease in the overall CO2 intensity of the sector could be achieved throughout the widespread dissemination of technologies that could reasonably become cost-effective in the future. Therefore, breakthrough technologies are urgent and indispensable.
ΣIDERWIN project proposes to develop a breakthrough innovation compared to the actual steel production process bringing together steel making with electrochemical process. The electrolysis process using renewable energies will transform any iron oxide, including those inside the by-products from other metallurgies, into steel plate with a significant reduction of energy use. This process decomposes under mild conditions but at intense reaction rate naturally occurring iron oxides such as hematite into iron metal and oxygen gas. By offering a CO2-free steel production process, the project will contribute to the reduction of the total greenhouse gas emissions.
Compared to traditional steelmaking plants, this innovative technology has several positive impacts such as: a reduction by 87% of the direct CO2 emissions; a reduction by 31% of the direct energy use; the ability to produce steel from by-products rich in iron oxides from non-ferrous metallurgy residues; an increased integration with renewable energies with a more flexible process.
The project is led by ArcelorMittal the world’s leading steel and mining company. The company has been working for 12 years on the development of the technology to bring it from the TRL 0 to TRL 4 through the manufacturing of 5 different pilots, proving the potential of the technology. With this solid background, ArcelorMittal surrounded by 11 additional innovative European partners, aims at developing a 3 metre-long new experimental pilot to validate the technology at TRL 6.