ArcelorMittal has opened Germany's first competence center for research and development (R&D) of climate-neutral steel production. By providing technological support and assistance, the new department in Hamburg will play an important role in the transformation to climate-neutral steel production. There will be close cooperation between ArcelorMittal's four German sites in Duisburg, Bremen, Hamburg and Eisenhüttenstadt and the global R&D department.
Climate Neutrality by 2050
ArcelorMittal's XCarb® decarbonization initiative aims to achieve worldwide climate-neutral steel production by 2050. The aim is to reduce European emissions by 35 percent until 2030. Top priority is assigned to research into the use of hydrogen and other decarbonization strategies. Ore- and coal-based steel production in the blast furnace will be replaced in the medium and long term. ArcelorMittal will switch to crude steel production in the eco-electric electric arc furnace and hydrogen-based sponge iron production through direct reduction.
Direct reduction using natural gas, which will be replaced with hydrogen in the future, is already in place at the Hamburg site. The first low-emission steel will be produced at the Duisburg, Bremen, Hamburg and Eisenhüttenstadt sites as early as 2025. Joint projects for building a hydrogen infrastructure are currently under planning. Public financial support and green lead markets are needed to fully convert to the use of green hydrogen. In the future, around 12 million tons of CO2 can be saved by decarbonizing ArcelorMittal's German plants.
Another Step towards Decarbonization
Rainer Blaschek, head of Germany at ArcelorMittal:
"With the new competence center, we are taking a further step towards decarbonizing our steel production. In close cooperation with the global research centers and the group's German sites, the new department is working intensively on a wide range of issues that are far more complex than simply replacing natural gas with hydrogen. These are enormous challenges - economically, infrastructurally, and technologically. But we are well-prepared and leading with the R&D department to achieve our ambitious transformation goals."
At the Hamburg competence center basic and applied research are coordinated. The team is working on adapting steel production facilities in a way that more renewable energies can be used. It further examines the use of by-products and scrap technologies. Additionally, cooperations with technological networks and universities will be deepened. The new R&D center is lead by Frank Schaub, who holds a doctorate in construction chemistry. He is currently assembling a specialized team from younger and experienced colleagues from various departments.
Schaub summarizes the work of the competence center as follows:
"Within a few years, we are moving away from methods that have been established for decades. Now we will build up new knowledge about hydrogen and other decarbonization technologies quickly."