Montan Universität Leoben

The chair of Process Technology and Environmental Protection at Montanuniversität Leoben works on the integration of renewable energy in industry processes, the utilization of CO2 as feedstock as well as the development of technologies for closing material cycles. Research is also conducted in the field of fluid separations, the optimisation of metallurgical processes, as well as on the usage of biogenic materials and their components as renewable resources in industrial processes.

Our role in the project

We support the Austrian steel industry in their ambition to reduce their overall CO2 emissions, by integrating a methanation pilot plant in the steelworks at Linz. In a first step a 20 kW unit with a TRL of 4 will be realised as a mobile container solution. Through the catalytic methanation process, green hydrogen, produced by the plant-internal 6 MW PEM electrolyzer, as well as CO2, separated from the power plant’s off-gas with an amine scrubber, will react to synthetic natural gas (SNG) and steam. The SNG will be injected into the plant-internal gas network, to reduce the amount of fossil natural gas sourced from the external gas grid. In a second phase, an upgraded methanation pilot plant with 100 kW syngas power (TRL 5/6) will be installed and operated.

Our impact in the region

Together with our industry and research partners in the Upper Austrian region we support the operator of the steelworks plant in Linz with solutions to utilize their captured CO2 and to generate a valuable product out of their energy and carbon-rich by-product gases. By e.g., producing synthetic natural gas with green hydrogen, the overall CO2 emissions of the steelworks can be reduced without interfering with the existing steelmaking process itself. The demonstration of CO2 utilization will foster the transformation of steel production to climate neutrality and is a showcase for the usage of green hydrogen.