Photo © Breitenfeld Edelstahl AG/Stefan Nadrag

In the OxySteel project research is being conducted into energy efficiency and CO2 reduction measures in steel production. As the metallurgical industry relies heavily on fossil fuels, energy efficiency and CO2 reduction measures in this sector are crucial to meet the CO2 reduction targets. The development and implementation of a new process design using oxy-fuel combustion and Carbon Capture and Utilization (CCU) is expected to save fuel and CO2 emissions. The research project focuses on the optimal integration of the technologies into the overall energy system. The process design developed will be tested in an industrial environment at the demonstration site in the Breitenfeld steelworks.

„For me, the steel industry is so exciting because you achieve great leverage. For example, we expect the implementation of OxySteel alone to result in annual energy savings of 12 GWh. This corresponds to about 10% of the annual natural gas consumption of the city of Leoben. With a corresponding technology rollout, the savings are many times higher. “

Thomas Kienberger, Project manager OXYSTEEL, Montanuniversity Leoben

The Breitenfeld Edelstahl AG produces around 130 000 tons of steel per year at its site in the Mürztal. For this purpose, scrap is melted in an electric arc furnace and processed into high-quality steel products. Besides the electric arc furnace, the main energy consumers are the ladle furnaces, which are used to heat the steelworks ladles. These are currently operated with conventional natural gas burners. The aim is to achieve an energy saving of 6% per year and to save 2700 t CO2 per year through more efficient combustion and internal use of CO2. In the course of the demonstration project, three ladle fires will be equipped with oxy-fuel burners. The process design also provides for subsequent condensation of the flue gas. This leads to an increase in the CO2 concentration in the flue gas and enables the heat present in the flue gas to be recovered. The CO2-rich flue gas is then compressed, stored and used for environmentally friendly waste water neutralisation and in the cooling towers. Waste water neutralisation at the production site is already carried out with CO2, but the CO2 must be purchased at present. The recovered heat is used to preheat feed water in the process steam boiler. The demonstration plant is currently in the engineering phase.
Another target of OxySteel, using a comprehensive analysis and modelling of the energy system, is to identify flexibility options and Demand Side Management (DSM) potentials to support the integration of variable renewable energy sources and provide possible grid services. The energy system model is also used to develop and evaluate future scenarios.


1. Comprehensive analysis and modelling of the energy system model
2. Creation of consumption load profiles
3. Technological development of oxyfuel and CCU equipment
4. System integration of OxyFuel and CCU technology
5.Commissioning of the demonstration plant
6. Preparing and evaluating possible future scenarios


OxySteel contributes to the NEFI innovation fields of Energy Efficiency & New Processes and Renewables, Storage & DSM.

Projekt manager


Johannes Dock

Montanuniversität Leoben

Key facts

Running time: 09/18 – 08/22

Project volume: 2,6 Mil.

CO2-saving potential of 2700 t. per year in the European Union, which is a valuable contribution for energy transition

Project partners

Breitenfeld Edelstahl


Montanuniversität Leoben

EVT Energieverbundtechnik


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