A new partnership between the steel, cement and chemical industries promises to look at potential synergies that might exist between these manufacturing processes and how they can reduce CO2 reductions.

The world’s largest steelmaker, ArcelorMittal, along with Evonik, LafargeHolcim and Solvay have announced the formation of a new Low Carbon Technology Partnerships Initiative (LCTPI).

The first task of the newly formed LCTPI, following preliminary research already undertaken, will be to produce a study to identify ways to valorise industrial off-gases and other by-products from their manufacturing processes to produce goods with a lower carbon footprint than through ‘the fossil path’.

According to a press announcement from ArcelorMittal, “The study is aimed at bringing a fact-based overview of carbon and energy sources from industrial off-gases (first at a European level), and evaluating the technical, environmental and economic feasibility of different carbon capture and usage (CCU) pathways and their potential.”

Initial research has found that deploying cross-sector carbon capture and re-use opportunities on an industrial scale could reduce global anthropogenic CO2 emissions by 7%. Furthermore, existing conversion technologies applied across steel, cement and chemicals could utilise by-products in the off-gases to create building materials, organic chemicals and fuel. It is also thought that increased availability and greater access to renewable energy sources would boost net carbon reduction efforts by the steel, cement and chemical sectors and that jobs would be created by cross-sector carbon capture and re-use.

Michel Bande, corporate sustainability officer and liason delegate WBCSD of Solvay said, “The potential to reduce carbon emissions through better collaboration between the chemicals, steel and cement industries looks promising,” adding that European energy-intensive industries could, with new and innovative ways of working together, produce large volumes of final goods with a reduced carbon footprint.

At ArcelorMittal, Carl de Maré, vice president head of technology strategy, commented, “We are excited to build a partnership that demonstrates our commitment to developing a low-carbon, circular economy steel business and explore the numerous efficiency opportunities across other energy-intensive industries.” He added that steel is a perfect material for the circular economy.

Evonik’s senior vice-president, corporate responsibility, said that cross sector initiatives like this one, offer great opportunities to ‘steer our economies towards towards improved sustainability and more circularity’.

LafargeHolcim’s Bernard Mathieu, head of group sustainable development, said that concrete offers the highest level of life-cycle sustainability performance. “We are continuously developing new products and solutions for a low carbon society,” he said.