Boosting Reduction of Energy Intensity in cleaN STeelwork platfORM

Lead Research Organisation: University of Manchester
Department Name: Chem Eng and Analytical Science


Iron and steel is the largest UK manufacturing industry in terms of energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Currently, more than 6 Mt of steel per year are produced in six blast furnaces at two steelworks with specific energy consumptions of 19 GJ/t of steel and overall direct CO2 emissions of 13 Mt, contributing 25% to GHG emissions from UK manufacturing. Combustion of blast furnace gas (BFG) in the power station causes ~ 50% of CO2 emissions.

In BREIN-STORM we propose to convert the BFG from steel mills into valuable products, such as hydrogen and pure carbon dioxide. This will be achieved by combining calcium and chemical looping gas-solid reactions (CaL-CLC). This four-year project comprises four interlinked work packages (WPs):
1. WP1 will develop and scale up different multi-functional materials based on calcium oxide as sorbent and copper-oxide oxygen carriers. We will focus on increasing the stability over cycling operation and the sorption capacity of the materials. The produced material will be tested and characterised to examine longevity. The kinetics models will be derived to enable the scale up.
2. WP2 will focus on the development and testing of the reactor. We will carry out the experimental demonstration and long-term testing under different reactive conditions in packed and fluidised bed configurations. The experimental results will be used to validate the reactor model. The knowledge gained both from the experimental and numerical activities will be used as guidance for future pilot-scale demonstration of the technology.
3. In WP3, the CaL-CLC process will be integrated into the steelworks through a conceptual design. The techno-economic performance of the process will be compared with standard state-of-the-art technologies in the steel sector. The integration of renewables sources will be studied with the aim of designing a first 'green' steelworks plant.
4. In WP4, the developed process will be evaluated on environmental impacts as well as social and policy implications.

Planned Impact

The BREIN-STORM project will develop a new, promising technology to reduce energy consumption and GHG emissions in the steel sector. The results are expected to generate significant impacts as follows:

- Industry: the BREIN-STORM project will help the sector to reduce its energy use by 20% and its GHG emissions by up to 90%.
- Policy: A white paper will be produced to guide policy makers on policy instruments needed to stimulate the transition of the steel industry towards a low-energy future within a circular economy context.
- Knowledge: The project will develop cutting-edge materials, technology and sustainability analyses that will have an impact of researchers internationally, particularly those working in the fields of manufacturing, energy, process design and sustainability assessment.
- People: By working in a multidisciplinary team, the early-career researchers will gain knowledge outside their own discipline and learn how to communicate to those outside their field. By working closely with industry, they will be able to appreciate the balance between fundamental research and the needs of the commercial sector.
- Economy and society: By reducing GHG emissions and improving other environmental and social sustainability aspects associated with energy provision, the project will contribute to a better quality of life in the UK. Reducing energy use will also reduce costs of steel production. This will in turn help to improve the productivity in UK manufacturing, benefiting the economy as a whole.


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Description UKCCSRC - collaboration with UCL 
Organisation University College London
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This is a collaboration with UCL, Prof. Haroun Mahgerefteh to perform a feasibility study on how to covert waste blast furnace gas into valuable chemical product.
Collaborator Contribution the UCL is carrying out the thermodynamic performance analysis of one of the technology to be developed in BREISTORM integrated with a system for the synthesis of liquid fuels
Impact the collaboration is currently ongoing
Start Year 2019