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ZEUS delves into sustainable steel production

ZEUS delves into sustainable steel production

To achieve the goal of carbon neutrality by 2050, our greentec steel activities include actively researching new processes and investing in projects that offer new ways to produce steel. In doing so, our goal is to create a climate-neutral process chain: from the production of green hydrogen, to the conversion of CO2 into storable materials. One new R&D product in which we are involved is ZEUS.

Außenansicht VOEST Alpine Forschungszentrum ZEUS
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ZEUS is an acronym for Zero Emissions throUgh Sectorcoupling. Under the helm of K1-MET, researchers are working with overwhelming enthusiasm to develop new methods for avoiding and/or utilizing industrial emissions.

Green hydrogen to avoid emissions

The focus of our research lies in Carbon Direct Avoidance (CDA) projects. The goal is to avoid producing greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing. These projects include the testing facilities for carbon-neutral steel production using hydrogen (“sustainable steelmaking”) at the Donawitz site. We have already successfully completed an important feasibility study with H2FUTURE, our pilot facility for producing green hydrogen on an industrial scale.

Detailansicht aus der Wasserstoffanlage H2FUTURE der voestalpine

Steel production with hydrogen

We are now running a successor project to H2FUTURE within the ZEUS framework. The goal is to use our facilities to bring dynamically produced hydrogen (i.e. dependent on the fluctuating availability of renewable energy generated from wind and photovoltaics) up to fuel cell quality (99.999% H2), to compress it to 500 bar, and to store it. Different hydrogen use cases require different properties and pressures. The innovation lies in the load-dependent operation of the treatment and compression process.

By methanizing CO2, we create the preconditions for a range of storable products which will drive our energy transition

Michael D.
Project Manager at K1-MET

Sector coupling

The project will run through to 2027. Coordinated by K1-MET GmbH, the project also involves the following partners from the scientific community:

  • the Energy Institute at the JKU Linz;
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz—Institute for Organic Chemistry;
  • Montanuniversität Leoben—Chair of Process Technology and Industrial Environmental Protection;
  • TU Wien—Institute of Chemical, Environmental and Bioscience Engineering, and
  • WIVA P&G—Hydrogen Flagship Region, Austria Power & Gas together with the industrial partners
  • GIG Karasek GmbH;
  • Rohrdorfer Zement—Zementwerk Hatschek GmbH;
  • Verbund Green Hydrogen GmbH, and
  • voestalpine Stahl GmbH.

The diverse range of partners highlights the complexity of creating a carbon-neutral process chain, as the associated tasks can only be achieved through sector coupling. This includes bringing different companies together with the energy industry to facilitate the cost-efficient production of green hydrogen, and with the process industry to capture CO2 from process gases for catalytic processes.

voestalpine Zeus interior view

Stabilizing a sustainable energy supply

The catalytic conversion of CO2 using hydrogen to create synthetic methane is one of the focuses of ZEUS. The gas produced by our H2FUTURE pilot facility is important for use in field testing.

The ZEUS project is funded by the Climate and Energy Fund and is being carried out as part of the Energy Research Program 2022.

This allows the energy reserves we build up in summer through the generation of green electricity to be drawn on during winter. ZEUS allows us to demonstrate on a small scale how a cross-sectoral circular economy can use a chemical pathway to store and release energy.

Thomas B.
Our focus on greentec steel

Within the framework of our focus greentec steel, we provide an overview of our concrete steps on the way towards long-term CO2-neutral steel production and the innovative processes we are using on this way. We provide information about the challenges we face and the breakthrough technologies we are already researching today in order to achieve our goal of CO2-neutral steel production by 2050.

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Die voestalpine ist ein weltweit führender Stahl- und Technologiekonzern mit kombinierter Werkstoff- und Verarbeitungskompetenz. Die global tätige Unternehmensgruppe verfügt über rund 500 Konzerngesellschaften und -standorte in mehr als 50 Ländern auf allen fünf Kontinenten. Sie notiert seit 1995 an der Wiener Börse. Mit ihren Premium-Produkt- und Systemlösungen zählt sie zu den führenden Partnern der Automobil- und Hausgeräteindustrie sowie der Luftfahrt- und Öl- & Gasindustrie und ist darüber hinaus Weltmarktführer bei Bahninfrastruktursystemen, bei Werkzeugstahl und Spezialprofilen. Die voestalpine bekennt sich zu den globalen Klimazielen und verfolgt mit greentec steel einen klaren Plan zur Dekarbonisierung der Stahlproduktion.