U.S. Steel Implements Innovative New Carbon Emission Capturing Technology

SkyCycle, CarbonFree’s second-generation technology, is a modular, scalable and patented technology designed to directly capture CO2 emissions from a wide variety of hard-to-abate industrial emitters. (Photo: Business Wire)


U.S. Steel and CarbonFree, a leader in carbon capture technology, announced an agreement to capture carbon emissions generated from U. S. Steel’s Gary Works blast furnaces using CarbonFree’s SkyCycle technology.

The first-of-its-kind project will capture and mineralize up to 50,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide per year, equivalent to emissions produced by nearly 12,000 passenger cars annually, and could be expanded in the coming years.

“Innovating to capture carbon at an integrated mill is the latest example of how steel is enabling a more sustainable future,” said Scott Buckiso, U.S. Steel Senior Vice President & Chief Manufacturing Officer. “Moreover, U.S. Steel has a history of ‘firsts’ that we’re confidently building on. Using SkyCycle technology for the first project of its kind in North America should benefit the community for generations to come.”

U.S. Steel’s involvement aligns with the company’s goal of reducing greenhouse gas emission intensity 20% by 2030 and achieving net-zero emissions by 2050. In addition, the initial SkyCycle project responds to the increasing demand for low emissions products. The project is the first step in exploring SkyCycle’s scalability for potential future implementation across the enterprise.

Construction on the SkyCycle plant in the U.S. Steel Gary Works facility is expected to commence as early as summer 2024 with operations projected to begin in 2026. The agreement is for a 20-year term following its in-service date.

CarbonFree’s patented SkyCycle solution captures carbon emissions before they enter the atmosphere and converts them into a carbon-neutral version of calcium carbonate, which is essential to the creation of paper and plastics, as well as personal care, paint, and building products. CarbonFree-produced calcium carbonate made from captured carbon dioxide can help decarbonize global supply chains by enabling manufacturers to reduce Scope 3 emissions, or it can be stored in an environmentally conscious way without the need for pipelines or disposal wells. In addition to capturing carbon dioxide, CarbonFree will use slag produced by the blast furnace operation as part of the calcium carbonate production process. 

“U.S. Steel is setting a precedent for how manufacturers can and must proactively manage their carbon emissions, and CarbonFree is honored to play a role in this legacy,” said Martin Keighley, CEO of CarbonFree. “As carbon capture continues to be recognized as an indispensable solution on the path to carbon neutrality for carbon-intensive industries, we look forward to helping U.S. Steel achieve its decarbonization goals while providing economic and environmental benefits to Gary and Indiana.”

The partnership will likely enable U.S. Steel to offer steel used in the automotive, appliance, and packaging industries with a significantly reduced carbon footprint.

U.S. Steel employs more than 4,300 people at Gary Works. The plant creates an Economic Multiplier Effect, supporting thousands of additional steel plant, chemical, energy, transportation, and supplier jobs throughout Lake and Porter counties and the greater United States.