The company has already produced the first biochar for use in a blast furnace

Steelmaker ArcelorMittal has commissioned a €35 million ($38 million) Torero biomass processing plant at its steel plant in Ghent, Belgium. The company said in a statement.

The plant has already produced its first biochar, which was successfully used in a blast furnace on December 18.

The project will reduce annual carbon emissions by 112.5 thousand tons. The plant will process 88 thousand tons of wood waste into 37.5 thousand tons of biochar per year.

The use of biochar in the blast furnace process will lead to the production of biogas, which will be captured and converted into ethanol at ArcelorMittal’s Steelanol demonstration plant, Europe’s first carbon capture and utilization (CCU) project.

In November 2023, the €165 million Steelanol plant began commercial production of ethanol, a significant step towards the facility’s full commissioning. Ethanol can be used as a building block for the production of a variety of chemicals, including transportation fuels, paints, plastics, etc.

The Torero project is supported by European funding from the EU’s Horizon 2020 framework program for research and innovation.

ArcelorMittal Europe intends to reduce CO2 emissions by 35% by 2030 and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

As GMK Center reported earlier, the Steelanol plant has an annual capacity to produce 80 million liters of ethanol, which is about half of the total current demand in Belgium. The plant was opened in December 2022, after which cold commissioning was carried out. Subsequently, a biocatalyst was introduced into the plant. In June of this year, ArcelorMittal and LanzaTech Global announced that the first samples containing ethanol were produced from the flagship plant.