Institute of Chemical Engineering
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Integration of renewable energy in the steel production in order to increase energy efficiency and to reduce CO2-emissions



In the course of the project total process chains for the utilization of steel gases of an integrated steel plant will be developed and experimentally investigated. Renewable power is used in water electrolysis, as well as biomass is used in a fluidized bed gasification to produce H2 for the catalytic methanation of steel gases. Main targets are a significant reduction of the CO2-emissions, an increase of the energy efficiency in the production, the integration of renewable energy and the chemical storage of excess energy.



The energy efficiency potential of modern steel plants is almost completely exploited in terms of conventional process optimizations. It is therefore necessary to improve the energy and resource efficiency of the steel production by new and innovative approaches, not least to preserve the global competitiveness of the Austrian producing industry.

In a steel plant, energy rich, CO, CO2 and H2 containing gases (steel gases) are produced in different processes, which are today utilized mainly as energy carrier within the integrated steel plant. The target of this project is the development of complete process chains for the energy efficient use of suitable steel gases by integrating renewable energy, thus increasing the energy efficiency and reducing the emission of greenhouse gases, respectively, of steel production. Potential steel gases are converter gas, coke oven gas and blast furnace gas which differ by their compositions, particularly in terms of CO, CO2, H2 and N2 content. By integrating Power-to-Gas (PtG) in a steel plant, renewable power is used to produce hydrogen by water electrolysis, which is utilized for a subsequent methanation of the steel gases. Furthermore, a fluidized bed biomass gasification is integrated for the production of renewable H2 and CO2. Thereby, both the structure of optimal process chains, i.e. what steel gases are especially suitable for methanation in terms of their composition, their amount as well as their temporal availability, and the need for conditioning of these gases upstream the methanation have to be investigated. In course of the project it has to be clarified whether a separation of CO2/CO upstream the methanation is energetically and economically more suitable than the conditioning of the methanation product gases for injection in the natural gas grid. Alternatively, the unconditioned methanation product gas can be utilized within the steel plant as substitute for natural gas.

The integration of renewable energy with subsequent methanation in a steel plant anticipates a significant increase of energy efficiency in the steel production, a substantial reduction of greenhouse gas emissions as well as chemical storage of renewable excess energy which can be utilized externally and within the steel plant, respectively. The synergetic use of by-products of PtG within the steel plant, particularly oxygen, promises further energetic efficiency increase as well as costs savings which improve the profitableness of the process chain to be developed.

As result of this project, one or more optimal integration variants of PtG and biomass gasification with an integrated steel plant should be developed, the increase of energy efficiency of steel production compared with the state-of-the-art (BAT) and the CO2 reduction potential should be quantified, and a basic engineering of such process chain for subsequent implementation in demonstration scale should be worked out.


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Project Partner:

Montanuniversität Leoben, Lehrstuhl für Verfahrenstechnik des industriellen Umweltschutzes Univ.-Prof. Dr.-Ing. Markus Lehner (consortium leadership)


Technische Universität Wien, Institut für Verfahrenstechnik, Umwelttechnik und Technische Biowissenschaften

Energieinstitut an der Johannes Kepler Universität Linz

voestalpine Stahl GmbH

voestalpine Stahl Donawitz GmbH


The present project is supported with financial contribution from the Austrian "Climate and Energy Fund" as a part of the research program "Energieforschung":





TU Wien Contact / Project Lead:

Stefan Müller

Project Team:

Johannes Schmid

Anna Mauerhofer

Hermann Hofbauer

Josef Fuchs

Florian Benedikt

Project Status: