About the project

The INITIATE project will demonstrate operating reliability and technology-based innovations in a real industrial setting at TRL7 by producing urea NH3 from steel residual gases as part of three test campaigns spanning six weeks each.

The project will demonstrate a reduction in; primary energy intensity of 30%; carbon footprint of 95%; the raw material intensity of 40%; and waste production of 90%. Additional to this level of reduction, the concept represents a positive business case. The reduction in primary energy intensity, carbon footprint, raw material intensity and waste production will be assessed and verified on a regional and European level by advanced dynamic modelling and Life Cycle Assessment commiserated with ISO 14404 guidelines.

The project will develop a commercial implementation roadmap for immediate deployment of the INITIATE technology after project conclusion and for ensuring roll-out of INITIATE and similar symbiotic systems. Designing a robust and bankable first-of-a-kind commercial plant to produce urea from residual steel gases will allow implementation after project conclusion. Long term roll-out will be enabled by defining collaborative strategy for stakeholders alignment to implement INITIATE and similar symbiotic systems.

The general objectives of the INITIATE project are:

Demonstrate operating reliability and technology-based innovations of the INITIATE process in real industrial settings (TRL 7) at an equivalent scale of 5 t(Urea)/d.

Assess and verify energy, economic and environmental advantages of implementing the INITIATE system by a defined set of key-performance-indicators (KPI’s).

Achieve a bankable design for the first-of-a-kind (FOAK) commercial plant that converts BOFG to AdBlue® grade urea at the scale of 150 t(Urea)/d, enabling short term deployment.

Generate a long-term implementation plan for successful long term deployment of the INITIATE process over the next 30 years (to 2050), from both a local and European perspective, considering potential synergies with local infrastructure and other symbiotic systems.

Ensure the effective exploitation and dissemination of the project results to all relevant stakeholders to facilitate successful future deployment.

These objectives will be achieved through eight work packages.

The project in a nutshell

Demonstrator design, engineering and construction

The consortium designs, engineers, constructs, installs and commissions the INITIATE pilot installation. This allows the consortium to provide a TRL 7 demonstration of NH3 production from BOF and BF gases.

The design process is well structured and all partners have the necessary expertise, track-record and competences to achieve delivery of the pilot unit on-time and on-budget.

Industrial functional materials

The consortium validates functional materials (catalysts, purification materials, sorbent materials) at pre-pilot scale for the production of NH3 from BOFG and BFG, to define testing programmes for pilot plant scale testing, and manufacture materials in quantities required for pilot plant campaigns. Validation of industrial sourced functional materials is essential for TRL 7 demonstration and commercialisation of the INITIATE process.

Demonstration of Industrial Symbiosis

The consortium performs the demonstration campaigns, the data acquisition and analysis. This represents a TRL 7 demonstration of NH3 production from BOF and BF gases at optimal process control given the feed variability.

Three pilot campaigns of 6 weeks each will be performed, progressively increasing the complexity regarding the feed variability and the process control strategy implementation.

Multiscale modelling and analysis of Industrial Symbiosis

The consortium designs the INITIATE process and the optimisation of the industrial symbiosis. Starting from the detailed modelling of the reactors, specifically the core of the INITIATE process, the environmental, economic and energy assessment are performed, thereby assessing the KPI’s and the advantages over competitive technologies at scales that are relevant for AdBlue and Fertilizer urea applications, namely 150 t(Urea)/d and 1500 t(Urea)/d.

Commercial Implementation Plan

The consortium develops the plans for short-term deployment for the first of a kind modular INITIATE plant and to enable long-term roll out by maximising the replication potential. The short-term plan will be in the form of a site specific pre-FEED (Front End Engineering Design) for the production of urea grade suitable for AdBlue® or fertilizer. The long-term plan will take an open view and identify how to scale up the design and also create an inventory of successful symbiotic relationships enabled by SEWGS. The INITIATE concept and these additional symbiotic relationships will be used as case studies to address non-technological barrier for industrial symbiosis.