Top steelmaker underwrites biocarbon fuel specialist CHAR

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Sources: CHAR Technologies, Toronto; CMCM staff

The world’s leading steel producer, ArcelorMittal S.A., has invested $6 million in CHAR Technologies and entered a purchase agreement for biocarbon output from the startup company’s Thorold, Ontario processing plant. The investment advances collaborative efforts of CHAR and ArcelorMittal Dofasco to develop a drop-in replacement to reduce consumption of fossil-based carbon sources. Under the purchase agreement, CHAR’s CleanFyre biocarbon is targeted for trial in an electric arc furnace with the aim of reducing GHG emissions in steel production by 35,000 metric tons over four years. CleanFyre has been tested in an ArcelorMittal Dofasco blast furnace since 2021.

CHAR Technologies’ high-temperature pyrolysis process extracts biocarbon and renewable natural gas from wood waste.

ArcelorMittal made the investment through its XCarb Innovation Fund, targeting companies with technologies poised to accelerate the steel industry’s transition to carbon neutral operations. CHAR marks the Fund’s seventh global investment and first in a Canadian company. The capital will maximize the impact of the Canadian and Ontario governments’ late-2022 investment of $12 million in CHAR. It aims to accelerate the Thorold plant scale up and expedite work on additional project sites.

“The governments of Canada and Ontario called for innovative solutions to decarbonize the steel industry,” says CHAR CEO Andrew White. “CHAR and ArcelorMittal S.A. have answered that call. [This] announcement validates years of collaborative research & development with ArcelorMittal S.A., as we strive towards replacing metallurgical coal.”

“We provide seed capital [and] the industrial infrastructure that breakthrough technology companies need to bring their product to market,” adds XCarb Innovation Fund Head Irina Gorbounova. 

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