Innovative technology aims to help decarbonization by green hydrogen in the steel industry
A partnership was signed between Brazilian group CSN, CSN Inova, and the Portuguese company UTIS to develop innovative technology for the steel sector.
CSN Inova, the innovation branch of the CSN Group, signed a partnership with the Portuguese company UTIS to develop an innovative solution for applying green hydrogen in different stages of steel production. It will be the first time that the UC3 technology – Ultimate Cell® Continuous Combustion (UTIS), developed and patented by UTIS and already implemented worldwide in other sectors, such as cement, biomass, combustion of solid waste – will be applied in the steel industry.
A pilot project called UTIS/CSN Siderurgia, partially financed by the Brazilian agency FINEP (Funding Authority for Studies and Projects), aims to reduce energy consumption and CO2 emissions, improve product quality, reduce costs, and increase the profitability of the global steel industry.
Since 2020, CSN itself has been using it, with excellent results, in its cement plant in Arcos (MG). The technology optimizes combustion by injecting controlled amounts of green hydrogen (H2) and Oxygen (O2).
Felipe Spiri, Head of CSN Inova Open and co-founder of CSN Inova says that the project has excellent potential to help CSN and other companies in the sector to meet their decarbonization goals by reducing the use of fossil fuels. “In cement, CSN acquired and implemented the technology. Now, we are going further and are partners in developing at least one use case for Steel, which reinforces CSN’s pioneering spirit and commitment to innovation, technology, and decarbonization of its activities”, declared Spiri.
The partnership with UTIS is part of the ESG agenda that CSN has strongly developed. Environmental, social and governance issues stand out as a strategic pillar of the company’s operations. CSN’s efforts aim to increase productivity and efficiency, always following the best practices and making the necessary investments to perpetuate the organization’s sustainable growth.
How the project will work
After mapping several areas of the production flow, and as an example, the project plans to test the technical and economic feasibility of the UC3 technology in the Blast Furnace, which receives coal and coke, as well as to evaluate the behavior of the technology for steel gases and natural gas, as in other important lines of the plant such as Sintering and Hot Strip Rolling Mill.
Luís Novais and Paulo Gonçalo, UTIS Managing Directors, reveal that the company is strongly motivated with this partnership, to extend the application of UC3 technology in the steel industry, also supporting this sector in its decarbonization process.
“We believe that we can achieve the ambitious goals of reducing the ecological footprint and simultaneously increasing efficiency in steel production with innovation and disruptive approaches. The partnership with CSN, the most important Brazilian company in several industrial areas, among which the steel industry stands out, and CSN INOVA assures us from the outset extreme confidence in obtaining a huge success”, said Paulo Gonçalo.
Gains Obtained with the UC3 technology at CSN de Cimentos in Arcos
With the application of the UC3 technology at CSN Cimentos, in Arcos, CSN reduced emissions by approximately 5% per ton of clinker produced. In addition to reducing CO2, this initiative brought several other gains, such as higher kiln productivity, reduced use of fossil fuels (petroleum coke), reduced electrical consumption, resulting in significant financial, environmental and strategic gains. Another important aspect is the safety of the use of technology since the gases produced are never stored. In other words, there is an ‘on demand’ production and consumption of H2 and O2, which is injected at specific points in the combustion process, guaranteeing maximum reliability throughout this process.
The Foundations of UC3 Technology
The patented UC3 technology makes it possible to increase combustion efficiency by injecting controlled amounts of Hydrogen and Oxygen. The basic principle of the technology is to accelerate the reactions of the continuous combustion process, making it more efficient as more energy is released with the same amount of fuels. This energy efficiency gain is materialized from the environmental point of view (reduction of CO2), in reducing fossil fuel consumption and energy cost, and in the improvement of the quality of the final product, whenever applicable.
The UC3 system is supplied in a containerized system of easy industrial installation, requiring only electrical connections, communication, mains water and sewage. The concept behind the “plug and play” is intended for customers to have to make minimal changes to their production process in order to obtain the benefits associated with the product.
CSN is one of the most efficient integrated steel complexes in the world. Acting in five segments; mining, steel, energy, logistics, and cement, CSN prides itself in its innovative culture.
CSN Inova, is the innovation branch of CSN, which aims to position the company strategically and actively in the innovation ecosystem. We are responsible for implementing the innovation process within CSN, identifying new ideas and tools aimed to the group’s operational sustainability.
Portuguese company was founded in 2018, resulting from the joint venture between SECIL and ULTIMATE CELL, and since December 2021 with the SEMAPA Group, in a collaborative effort to create a strategic solution aimed at energy efficiency.
UTIS has developed an innovative technology – UC3, Ultimate Cell® Continuous Combustion, which contributes sustainably and economically to the continuous combustion processes in the industry.
Such a revolutionary and scalable technology aim to reduce the use of fossil fuels, the levels of pollutant emissions, and energy consumption, helping to make factories greener, more sustainable, producing products with a smaller ecological footprint.
For additional information: https://www.utis.pt/en/
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