Project implementation period:
01.06.2018 - 30.11.2021
Head of project:
i3upgrade focuses on the intelligent and integrated upgrade of carbon sources in steel industries through hydrogen intensified synthesis processes and advanced process control technologies. The proposed solutions link innovative response concepts withe control technologies relying on the state-of-the-art machine-learning algorithms and calculation techniques to develop the most flexible and profitable integrated processes.
The i3upgrade approach will in particular:
- provide new flexible reactor concepts for the upgrade of coal-derived gases with varying composition and gas quality to methane and methanol;
- optimize operation schemes by means of innovative advanced process control technologies;
- enable CO2 savings in the steel industry through the integration of renewable hydrogen from volatile power sources.
The proposed solution is to provide integration of the energy, steel, and chemical industries, which will contribute to: innovative energy conversion cycles to increase revenue streams from coal power generation or steel industry while reducing carbon footprint. As a consequence, steel industry’s standing will be strengthened.
In order to improve the flexibility of gas conversions, the project targets direct methanation and methanol synthesis of by-products in steel works as additional valuable products in the integrated steelworks. Such an approach permits responding to energy price changes and optimising product efficiency and economy of the integrated steelworks plants.
i3upgrade covers simulation works and experimental proof-of-concept of the proposed synthesis processes and new control strategies, as well as increased scale of methanation and methanol synthesis. Main research tasks include:
- analysis of main and trace compounds in various (coal-derived) by-products to determine how the gas is to be processed and the opportunities for integrating the methanation and methanol synthesis processes. Pursuant to the database developed, parameter ranges significant to the synthesis processes will be defined in the form of roadmaps;
- analysis of the methanation process in the non-adiabatic reactor developed, using the gas from the steelworks process, and determination of the process kinetics under transient conditions. Next, the same tests will be performed on an industrial scale owing to the computer simulations applied;
- determination of the catalyst kinetics and its degradation during methanol synthesis process using the prepared gas matrix with contaminants. Next, based on the results obtained, engineering a reactor for methanol synthesis on the industrial pilot scale;
- developing and implementation of advanced control strategies for methanation and methanol synthesis with an addition of renewable hydrogen, and their impact on OPEX optimisation on the industrial scale, and increased revenues on steel works products;
- long-term testing of the advanced control strategies implemented in dynamic syntheses with an addition of hydrogen, using complex gas matrix from an existing coal gasifier.
The project consortium is formed with the following partners:
- FRIEDRICH-ALEXANDER-UNIVERSITAET ERLANGEN NUERNBERG (FAU) – Coordinator, Germany;
- GLÓWNY INSTYTUT GÓRNICTWA (GIG), Poland;
- VOESTALPINE STAHL GMBH (VASL), Austria;
- K1-MET GMBH, (K1-MET), Austria;
- MONTANUNIVERSITAT LEOBEN, (MUL) Austria;
- SCUOLA SUPERIORE DI STUDI UNIVERSITARI E DI PERFEZIONAMENTO SANT'ANNA, (SSSA), Italy;
- ETHNIKO KENTRO EREVNAS KAI TECHNOLOGIKIS ANAPTYXIS, (CERTH), Greece;
- AIR LIQUIDE FORSCHUNG UND ENTWICKLUNG GMBH, (ALFE) Germany,