Whether beams in the construction sector, screws for sustainable furniture or bed springs for innerspring mattresses - XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steel, made with a high percentage of steel scrap and 100% renewable energy, is finding more and more interested parties. Sustainably manufactured products are not only good for the environment, companies also expect a clear competitive advantage over conventionally manufactured products. Lutz Bandusch, Chief Operating Officer at ArcelorMittal Europe – Long Products, comments: “We are already anticipating the increased demand, and we are integrating our low-emissions steelmaking technologies into our two technological pathways for our Net Zero steel offer: Innovative DRI and Smart Carbon, both of which are revolutionary ways of making steel and hold the potential to deliver carbon-neutral steel.”
This development fits in well with the Group's target to become carbon neutral by 2050 worldwide and -35% by 2030 in Europe.
The demand for XCarb® recycled and renewably produced steel is increasing in many areas, such as in:
Products for construction: One of the most demanding industry segments in terms of decarbonization is the construction industry. Steel is used as a reinforcement element in concrete or cables. These product families are mainly wire rod mesh, rebars in bars or rebars in coils and high Carbon Prestressed Steels (PSC). Regulations are more demanding in the Nordics, but all countries follow the same trends. The more demanding customers are governmental ones. At the time of enquiry for new buildings and infrastructures, the requirements are now including thresholds regarding carbon footprint. New projects are approved when the CO2 footprint meets the requirements.
Wire Solutions: ArcelorMittal WireSolutions is going to propose a range of low-emissions steel products through its full vertical integration, from the raw material to the final product mainly with the steel plant of ArcelorMittal Hamburg under the XCarb® brand.
Other industries: These include energy, transport, automotive and all of them are following the same trend for decarbonisation as construction and wire solutions. Exampleautomotive industry: In the last decades the reduction of tailpipe emissions was the main objective of many OEMs and Tier 1 suppliers. First step to achieve their goals is the electrification of the vehicles, and to complete this approach, OEMs are also looking for reducing their own Scope 3 emissions. ArcelorMittal can help to reduce its customers scope 3 emissions by delivering steel with XCarb® green steel certificates that prove CO2 emissions savings at ArcelorMittal Europe’s production sites.
For the main groups of products, environmental figures are calculated and published in Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs), which are standardised and third-party verified documents, providing environmental impacts, based on life-cycle assessment methodology. Among them, the global warming potential (GWP) gives the carbon footprint of a product, in an easy way to use and compare. In addition to the already strong sustainability credentials of these products, it certifies for XCarb® recycled and renewably produced rebars a GWP of 300 kg CO2eq per tonne of finished steel, which is far below the market average.
The ArcelorMittal low-emissions steelmaking technologies
The Smart Carbon route is applicable for the Blast Furnaces and is partially replacing the use of coal in the blast furnace with alternate sources of circular carbon from waste streams, such as sustainable biomass from agricultural waste or waste plastic. The Smart Carbon route is also including the Carbon Capture and re-Use (CCU) and the Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) technologies.
The innovative DRI pathway applies to the direct reduced iron (DRI) – Electric Arc Furnace route (EAF). The heart of our Innovative DRI route involves replacing the natural gas (which acts as the reductant in the DRI process) with an alternate, clean energy source – hydrogen.