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July 2019 – June 2023

PI: Vincenzo Spallina

Boosting Reduction of Energy Intensity in cleaN STeelworks platfORM (BREIN-STORM)

Funded by: EPSRC


University of Manchester, University of Cambridge, University of Leeds

Partners and stakeholders:

British Steel, Tata Steel, Consejo Superiore de Investigacion Cientifica – Insitituto Nacional del Carbon



The key objective of the BREIN-STORM is the development of a new process integrating gas-solid reactions with the aim of reducing the energy demand, carbon footprint and other life cycle environmental impacts, as well as costs in the steel sector. This will involve material development, reactor design and testing and process integration using Scunthorpe and Port Talbot steelworks as illustrative case studies. Environmental, socio-economic and policy implications of the proposed systems will also be evaluated.


Iron and steel is the largest UK manufacturing industry in terms of energy demand and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions contributing to 25% to GHG emissions from UK manufacturing. The combustion of blast furnace gas causes approximately 50% of CO2 emissions.

In BREIN-STORM we propose to convert the b from steel mills into valuable products, such as hydrogen and pure carbon dioxide. This will be achieved by combining calcium and chemical looping gas-solid reactions (CaL-CLC). This four-year project comprises four interlinked work packages (WPs):

  • WP1 will develop and scale up different multi-functional materials and the research will focus on increasing the stability over cycling operation and the sorption capacity of the materials
  • WP2 will focus on the development and testing of different reactor configuration (packed and fluidised beds). This WP will include both experimental and numerical activities.
  • In WP3, the CaL-CLC process will be integrated into the steelworks through a conceptual design. The techno-economic performance of the process will be assessed and the integration of renewables sources will be studied with the aim of designing a first ‘green’ steelworks plant.
  • In WP4, the developed process will be evaluated on environmental impacts as well as social and policy implications.

The results are expected to generate significant impacts as follows:

  • University and knowledge: The results of this project will benefit research groups working on material, reactor and process engineering as well as on sustainability, socio-economic and policy analyses. The results from the research will be published in high-quality journals as well as disseminated at leading national and international conferences.
  • Industry: The process will reduce the energy use by 20% and its GHG emissions by up to 90%.
  • Policy: A white paper will be produced to guide policy makers on policy instruments specifically for the steel sector.
  • Economy and society: Reducing energy use will also reduce costs of steel production. This will in turn help to improve the productivity in UK manufacturing, benefiting the economy as a whole.


Kick-off meeting expected in July 2019.

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