Skip Navigation

Company News, 2005-02-22, 01:00 AM

ULCOS: Business and universities combine R&D efforts in European Commission sponsored program to further reduce steel industry CO2 emissions

ThyssenKrupp Steel participates in an international consortium

A consortium of 48 European companies and organizations has entered into an agreement to launch a cooperative Research and Development initiative searching for new steel production processes that would drastically reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions of the sector. The consortium is called ULCOS, an acronym for "Ultra Low CO2 Steelmaking".

ULCOS will examine a set of new concepts for making steel on the process route based on iron ore that have the potential of reducing the specific CO2 emissions of the steel industry by more than 30 percent. To reach this degree of reduction in line with the probable post-Kyoto requirements for the future, the steel industry needs to develop new process paradigms using breakthrough technologies. One technology is based on the recycling of blast furnace top gas after decarbonization. CO2 capture and storage technologies can be added. Other breakthrough technologies are also being examined. They include electrolysis, use of hydrogen, use of carbon and natural gas with CO2 capture and sequestration in reactors different from the blast furnace, or utilization of biomass.

The consortium is led by a core-group of steel producers comprising ThyssenKrupp Stahl, Arcelor, Corus, Riva, Voestalpine, Saarstahl and Dillinger Hüttenwerke and the ore and pellet producer LKAB. Arcelor is the consortium´s coordinator. The ULCOS program is part of a multidisciplinary steel research platform co-financed by the innovation programs of the European Commission officially launched on March 12, 2004. The total funding of 45 million euros is being provided in roughly equal amounts by the European Commission and the companies involved in the program.

The reduction aimed at by ULCOS is an ambitious requirement, as the integrated steel production route generates about two tons of CO2 per ton of steel at present. In the past, intense efforts by the industry have allowed reduction of the energy requirements as well as the CO2 emissions of steel mills: specific energy consumption has thus gone down by 60 percent in the last 40 years, while the total CO2 emissions of the steel industry were reduced by 50 percent over the same period.

ULCOS is to deliver a concept process route, based on iron ore, with a verification of its feasibility in terms of technology, economic projections and social acceptability within five years. First commercial implementation can be considered after a pilot phase lasting another five years. The advancements of the program will be followed by the Industrial Technologies Research Directorate units of the European Commission.

This press release is also to be found under


ThyssenKrupp Steel AG
Erwin Schneider
Phone: +49-203-52-25690
Fax: +49-203-52-25707

Dietmar Stamm
Phone: +49-203-52-26267
Fax: +49-203-52-25707

To the top