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  • Sustainability

Gent recovers flue gases

In the blast furnace of ArcelorMittal Gent (Belgium), iron ore and coal (in the form of coke) are transformed into liquid pig iron. The pig iron contains 4.6% carbon, way above the 0.4% required for quality liquid steel. To remove the excess carbon, it is burnt with pure oxygen.

During the combustion process, a large amount of energy rich flue gases are produced. Previously these gases were burnt off at the top of a chimney. However, since July 2011, ArcelorMittal Gent has diverted the fl ue gases to a 90,000 m3 reservoir.

Around half of the saved gas is utilised within the mill, while the remainder is sent to a local electricity generator. ArcelorMittal Gent estimates that this will reduce the mill’s overall energy consumption by 3% and decrease CO2-eq emissions by 170,000 tonnes/year. Reusing the flue gases within the mill has resulted in a drop in energy consumption of 0.7 gigajoules (GJ) per tonne of steel. While the cost of building the system was just over €38 million, ArcelorMittal calculates that this investment will be recovered within two years.