US Steel to test membrane technology to capture carbon emissions

US Steel and NETL, a US Department of Energy national laboratory, are to test an advanced membrane technology to capture carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions at the company’s Edgar Thomson Plant in Braddock, Pennsylvania.

Image © immimagery -
Image © immimagery -

The project is part of the US Department of Energy (DOE)/NETL Point Source Carbon Capture Program.

Carbon capture has the potential to reduce CO2 from blast furnaces. “That makes point source carbon capture at iron and steel plants a priority. 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,” said NETL’s David Hopkinson, technical portfolio lead for Point Source Carbon Capture.

“This is an opportunity to play a role in shaping the future of greenhouse gas reduction for the entire steel industry. Our collaboration with NETL marks a great step forward in US Steel’s ambition to achieving net-zero by 2050,” said Scott Buckiso, senior vice president and chief manufacturing officer, North American Flat-Rolled Segment at US Steel. “Meeting our net-zero goal will take innovation, and our Edgar Thomson plant in the Mon Valley will play a significant role in exploring this crucial technology.”

Lab-scale tests of the membrane were completed recently at DOE’s National Carbon Capture Center (NCCC) in Wilsonville, Alabama, which is used to evaluate cost-competitive carbon capture technologies for power plants. Based on the positive results from the NCCC testing, the expanded field test will be undertaken at the Edgar Thomson Plant and seek to separate CO2 from greater volumes of flue gas.

“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,” said Hopkinson.

Currently, the design of the test unit to conduct gas separation measurements on the membrane is underway at NETL. In addition, a polymer membrane casting machine has been installed at NETL to allow for the production of larger membrane sheets as the technology is scaled up from lab scale to pilot scale.

“This project sets the stage for the development of membrane technology that can be used at steel mills, cement kilns and other industrial sites that generate significant volumes of greenhouse gas (GHG),” said Hopkinson.

The unit is scheduled to be installed at the Edgar Thomson Plant in early 2025. The field test will run for approximately six months.