18 Jul 2018 - Ouro Branco, Brazil - Gerdau Ouro Branco steel plant. © Bernal Revert/ BR&U

Project nominated for the Excellence in sustainability Steelie Award 2022

As a short-term decarbonisation initiative within coke-integrated mills, Gerdau Ouro Branco developed BIOCOKE, inserting up to 2% of biomass to replace coal in the coke plant, with a reduction of 32kgCO2e/t of steel or 10,000 tCO2e/month, gains of about 3US$/t coke.

Among the first initiatives and actions prioritised in the Marginal Abatement Cost Curve (MACC) of Gerdau Ouro Branco, in terms of GHG reduction capacity and which investments will be more cost-effective, BIOCOKE was prioritised for an immediate start, as it is not a project that needs significant CAPEX investments.

As Brazil is the world’s largest producer of charcoal, the implementation of BIOCOKE was started using biomass from charcoal fines, and, at phase 2, Gerdau will advance in the use of agricultural residues, such as corn residues, coffee husks, and sugarcane bagasse, exploring the great potential of generating this type of biomass in Brazil.

Therefore, BIOCOKE is an initiative that, in the first phase, requires OPEX financial investments, and that can be replicated for all coke-integrated mills in the world, as an immediate contribution to the decarbonisation roadmap of the steel industry.