ArcelorMittal wants to replace coal with high-quality biocoal as a raw material for its steel production process. For this purpose, ArcelorMittal is starting a pilot project in Gent (Belgium).
The Dutch company Perpetual Next will supply the biocoal it produces with its high-temperature torrefaction technology. The cooperation starts with an initial delivery of 30,000 tonnes of biocoal for the blast furnace in Gent. Ultimately, the delivery can be scaled up to 350,000 tonnes of biocoal on an annual basis.
Coal is used for the production of steel, among other things, to extract iron from iron ore. Seventy percent of that was produced in blast furnaces that use fossil coal. By 2050, steel demand is expected to double from its current level. With an unchanged policy, this will lead to a doubling of CO2 emissions.
Perpetual Next’s torrefaction technology converts biomass into biocoal with the same properties as fossil coal. The biomass comes from FSC-certified forests. The technology converts the raw material into biocoal through a thermal refining process. This creates a relatively affordable renewable raw material with a high energy density. The patented technology is owned by Perpetual Next.