CHAR Technologies wins ArcelorMittal’s inaugural XCarb™ Accelerator Programme
ArcelorMittal launched the XCarb™ Accelerator Programme in mid-2022.
The programme – a search for the best companies and brightest breakthrough technologies that hold the potential to accelerate the decarbonisation of the steel industry – saw over 90 start-ups from five different continents submitting applications across seven distinct technology domains.
CHAR, based in Ontario, Canada, is developing a high-temperature pyrolysis (HTP) technology that transforms organic waste streams into one of two valuable energy outputs.
The first is a high-calorific value and hydrogen-rich syngas that can be used as a replacement for natural gas, or to make green hydrogen.
The second is biocarbon - made from the remaining solids after the HTP process - which can be used as a biochar fertiliser to improve soil health, a pollutant filter or as biocarbon to replace fossil coal in industrial processes.
ArcelorMittal’s Canadian flat steel operation, ArcelorMittal Dofasco, has been collaborating with CHAR to test the use of its biocarbon as a partial replacement for fossil coal in its steelmaking processes, with encouraging results.
CHAR’s biocarbon enables an approximate 91% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions compared to metallurgical coal and has been tested by ArcelorMittal Dofasco since 2021.
ArcelorMittal Dofasco has therefore signed a memorandum of understanding with CHAR for the purchase of biocarbon from CHAR’s Thorold, Ontario facility that will enable larger scale trials in the coming years.
Irina Gorbounova, head of the XCarb™ Innovation Fund, said: “We were delighted with the response to our inaugural Accelerator Programme, receiving high quality entries from many emerging technology companies. Selecting a final three was a tough challenge for our judging panel but I believe we have found a very worthy winner in CHAR.
“I am especially pleased that not only are we investing in them, but we are already working alongside them, testing their product at one of our Canadian steel plants. This is one of the advantages of our Innovation Fund and our unique approach. We provide seed capital of course, but we also provide the industrial infrastructure and R&D collaboration that breakthrough technology companies need to bring their product to market."