Carbon2Chem Project for the First Time in History of Chemicals Manages to Produce Ammonia from Steel Mill Gases

A new discovery by ThyssenKrupp Ag’s Carbon2Chem project has been successful in producing ammonia from industrial steel mill gases.

Steel mill gases contain carbon in the form of carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide including hydrogen and nitrogen. The carbon2chem project has for the first shown that steel mill gases with carbon as one of the components can be converted to ammonia.

The research project Carbon2Chem funded by Federal Ministry of Education and research has achieved a significant milestone through this discovery after in September last year it succeeded in producing liquid methanol from the steel mill gases. The research project 17 partners along with ThyssenKrupp which include Max Planck Society and Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. The industrial scale adoption of the technology could pave way for commercial utilization annual co2 emission of 20 million tons possible.

Technology division head of ThyssenKrupp Reinhold Achatz said that the pan-industry project was aimed at developing technologies for green economy and a carbon circular economy and that they now are looking for industrial scale adoption of the new technology.

ThyssenKrupp invested Euro 33.3 million in creating a pilot plat at Duisburg, which is the ammonia production center of Carbon2Chem. The pilot plant at Duisburg was used for laboratory testing as industrial level practical conditions were created using steel mill gases. The production of ammonia was validated at this plant.

The steel mill gases are useful for production of Hydrogen and carbon containing synthesis gases which act as precursory chemical for various other chemicals including methanol, ammonia, higher alcohols and certain plastics. Chemical industry have always relied on fossil fuels for obtaining synthesis gases. The Carbon2Chem successfully converts carbon dioxide in the steel mill gases to ammonia but also stops the arising of CO2 from synthesis gases as well.

This has paved way for the adoption of technology not only in steel industry but other carbon intensive industries as well. This will help in achieving the targets of reduction in carbon emissions as committed through 201 UN Paris conference on climate change. This will also invoke great interest worldwide outside of Europe. The technology is in being planned to be immediately to 50 steel mills globally.

ThyssenKrupp Group works in five business areas which include elevator technology, industrial solutions, component technology, steel and material services. The company has presence in 79 countries with 461 subsidiaries. The long term goal of Carbon2Chem project is to use steel mill as raw materials for further production to reduce carbon emissions and improve productivity.

About the Author

Nikhil Kaitwade

With over 8 years of experience in market research and consulting industry, Nikhil has worked on more than 250 research assignments pertaining to chemicals, materials and energy sector. He has worked directly with about 35 reputed companies as lead consultant for plant expansion, product positioning, capacity factor analysis, new market/segment exploration, export market opportunity evaluation and sourcing strategies.

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