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US Steel, NETL to test carbon capture technology at Pennsylvania steel mill


Project part of DOE's Point Source Carbon Capture Program

Technology to be installed in early 2025

  • Author
  • Justine Coyne
  • Editor
  • Richard Rubin
  • Commodity
  • Energy Transition Metals Petrochemicals

US Steel and the US Department of Energy's National Energy Technology Laboratory plan to test an advanced membrane technology to capture carbon dioxide emissions generated by steelmaking operations at the steelmaker's Edgar Thomson Plant in Pennsylvania, according to a joint statement Sept. 20.

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The project is part of the DOE's Point Source Carbon Capture Program, which looks to capture carbon from industrial facilities to reduce CO2 emissions to meet US decarbonization goals.

As carbon capture has the potential to reduce CO2 emissions from blast furnaces, point source carbon capture at iron and steel plants is a priority of the program, David Hopkinson, NETL's technical portfolio lead for Point Source Carbon Capture, said in a statement.

"The testing of this promising NETL-developed membrane at the Edgar Thomson Plant is an important step to move this groundbreaking technology closer to commercial deployment," Hopkinson said.

The technology

Compared to other separation technologies, such as solvents and sorbents, polymer membranes offer a comparatively simple CO2 separation process, as membranes require few moving parts and no CO2 regeneration step, according to information provided by NETL and US Steel. This results in potential cost savings as well as reduced capital and maintenance costs, they said.

"Using our technology, we hope to generate a high-purity CO2 with a low percentage of nitrogen from flue gas so it can be safely and permanently stored in deep geologic formations or used as a feedstock to manufacture valuable fuels and chemicals and for other productive purposes," Hopkinson said.

NETL recently completed lab-scale tests of the technology at the DOE's carbon Capture Center in Wilsonville, Alabama, which it said yielded positive results.

Design of the test unit is underway and is expected to be installed at the Edgar Thomson Plant, part of US Steel's Mon Valley Works, in early 2025 for a six-month field test.

Project funding was provided by the DOE/NETL Point Source Carbon Capture Program.

The US has a goal of a 50% reduction from 2005 levels in economy-wide net greenhouse gas pollution by 2030 and achieving a GHG-neutral economy by 2050.

US Steel has set a goal of achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. The Mon Valley Works has an annual raw steel production capability of 2.9 million st.