CRI’s power-to-methanol technology at steel manufacturing plant in Sweden

Carbon Recycling International (CRI) and a consortium of European industrial firms and research institutions have been awarded an €11 million grant under the EU’s Horizon2020 programme to implement CRI’s Emissions-to-Liquids technology in a Swedish steel manufacturing plant, demonstrating how residual blast furnace gases can be turned into liquid fuel. The project, entitled FreSMe will be implemented in the Swerea MEFOS facility in Luleå, Sweden.

Steel manufacturing is associated with a number of byproducts, including carbon dioxide (CO2) as well as more energy rich gas which is used for steam and electricity production. Capturing and utilising surplus energy and CO2 in a the conversion process developed by CRI will reduce the carbon footprint of steel production and recycle greenhouse gas emissions in the form of methanol, a liquid fuel currently used in cars and ships.

The low carbon intensity methanol produced from the carbon capture and synthesis plant will be utilised by one of the consortium partners, Swedish ferry operator Stena which operates the world’s first methanol fuelled passenger ferry, the Stena Germanica. Methanol is emerging as a strong alternative to marine fuels derived from oil, as strict regulations on sulphur emissions from ships have been introduced in designated emission control areas within Northern-Europe and North America and will be implemented globally in 2020.

The FreSMe project will leverage infrastructure from the Stepwise research project, at the Swerea MEFOS facility in Luleå, which separates CO2 from blast furnace gas and from the MefCO2 project which demonstrates how CRI’s technology canutilise intermittent renewable electricity sources. A newly built pipeline connecting the SSAB steel plant in Luleå to Swerea MEFOS will also be used to feed gas to the carbon capture and methanol synthesis plant.

In addition to CRI, Swerea MEFOS, SSAB and Stena over half a dozen industrial firms and research institutes from six European countries will participate in the FreSMe consortium. Otherpartners include Tata Steel Netherlands, Kisuma Chemicals (Netherlands), Array Industries (Netherlands) and leading Dutch research institute ECN.

“This project will demonstrate that our Emissions-to-Liquids technology is a cost-effective solution for carbon capture and utilisation in steel manufacturing plants,” says Sindri Sindrason, CEO of CRI. “It further demonstrates the versatility of CRI’s ETL technology, which will enable the large scale replacement of oil distillates such as gasoline and diesel with low carbon intensity fuel from a large variety of energy sources.” 

CRI produces renewable methanol, under the brand name Vulcanol, at its Emissions-to-Liquids production facility in Grindavik, Iceland. CRI technology catalytically converts hydrogen and CO2 into renewable methanol. Methanol, one of the most common chemical feedstocks, is widely used in gasoline blending, for biodiesel production and production of chemical derivatives.



Photo: Torbjörn Tapani