ArcelorMittal converts CO2 into bio-ethanol


The CO2 recycling process should allow ArcelorMittal Belgium to produce 60 million liters of biofuel and reduce its carbon emissions. Annually!

ArcelorMittal, a major steel plant in Belgium, will capture CO2 and convert it into bio-ethanol.

Within two years, the new technology should be able to start.

The investment for the Steel Factory is about 80 million euro’s.

CO2 capture

ArcelorMittal has done a research proposal to the European Union to reduce it’s CO2 emissions from the plant by capturing it and convert it into a biofuel. The bio-ethanol called Steelanol, would emit 87% less CO2 emissions compared to gasoline.

The EU honored the research proposal and presented it as a step towards the ‘steelworks of the future with zero emissions.”

By means of a fermentation process with the help of microbes, the CO2 is converted into bio-ethanol. This innovative process allows ArcelorMittal to produce 60 million liters of biofuel and reduce its carbon emissions annually.

More concretely: two tons of CO2 for every tonne of ethanol through the whole production process.


From 2019, the bioreactor has to produce 65,000 tons of Steelanol annually from 2019. This is a CO2 footprint of less 2 percent for ArcelorMittal.

If the first bioreactor is successful, the steel factory will increase the amount of bioreactors with the aim to reduce its emissions by 10 percent.

ArcelorMittal CO2

Click on the image to get an idea of the process.

ArcelorMittal promising

The ‘Ghent Environmental Front calls the ArcelorMittal initiative promising. Last year the Environmental Front objected to the environmental permit of the steel plant.

“In any case, we think it’s an interesting experiment and we also hope that it is successful so that it can be expanded.”

Multiple applications for CO2

ArcelorMittal is currently also investigating other processes to recycle the captured CO2. Including to absorb the CO2 into stone which can be used in concrete. Iceland has been successful transforming CO2 into stone.

Zero emissions

The dot on the horizon for ArcelorMittal is the ‘zero emission steel plant of the future ‘.

The steel factory intents to convert all of the carbon which they produce during the steel proces for other applications.


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