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NextChem and Paul Wurth partner to push low-carb solutions for iron and steel

Italy-headed industrial group Maire Tecnimont S.p.A. has announced that its subsidiary NextChem S.p.A. will partner with Luxembourg-headed SMS Group company Paul Wurth S.A an international engineering, and technology provider to the steel industry, to promote the combined use of electrolysis and syngas production in the iron and steel industry.

Steam release at the quench tower of a coal coking plant. According to the World Steel Association, on average for 2017, 1.83 tonnes of CO2 were emitted for every tonne of steel produced. NextChem S.p.A. is partnering with Paul Wurth S.A to promote the combined use of electrolysis and syngas production in the iron and steel industry as a means to reduce CO2.

The objective of the partnership is to jointly develop advanced technological solutions for the combined use of electrolysis and syngas production in the iron and steel industry. In particular, the cooperation between NextChem and Paul Wurth is aimed at developing an advanced technological solution to convert natural gas into synthesis gas, known as syngas, to be used during iron ore reduction.

The utilization of syngas – a mixture of carbon monoxide (CO) and hydrogen – allows for the decrease in the portion of fossil fuels required, thus reducing overall CO2 emissions in the steel production process.

On the path of the energy transition and industry decarbonization, NextChem and Paul Wurth will combine their respective knowledge and expertise to study the integration of electrolysis technology into the syngas production scheme, with the aim of producing low-carbon steel at a competitive cost.

Integrating electrolysis in the revamping of steel furnaces is one of the most interesting challenges nowadays. We are really proud of this agreement, which strengthens the existing alliance between Maire Tecnimont and Paul Wurth to develop low carbon impact solutions in a hard-to-abate sector like the steel industry, said Pierroberto Folgiero, CEO of Maire Tecnimont Group and NextChem.

Introducing green hydrogen into the metallurgical process allows for the further lowering of the volume of coke required and reduces the carbon footprint of steel plants.

Today, together with a long-standing partner, we have taken another fundamental step towards carbon-neutral ironmaking. It is only by joining know-how that we can achieve a faster energy transition and the decarbonization of the steel industry, said Thomas Hansmann, Chief Technology and Operations Officer of Paul Wurth.

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