PNW CIVS and Partners Kickoff Event for $10 million DOE grant
PNW CIVS, along with industrial, education, federal, and elected leaders, gathered on Oct. 11 to recognize a significant grant of nearly $10 million from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Industrial Efficiency and Decarbonization Office (IEDO) to support the Development and Demonstration of an Industrial Hydrogen-fired Steel Reheating Furnace (H2RF). The event attendees participated in a combination of three activities: The Annual NWI One Region Luncheon, a Cleveland-Cliffs Indiana Harbor Plant tour, and a ceremony at CIVS Immersive Theater.
The keynote speaker for the annual One Region NWI Luncheon, President of Purdue University Mung Chiang, congratulated CIVS and its partners for the largest-ever federal research awarded to Purdue University Northwest, which will fund the Development and Demonstration of an Industrial Hydrogen-Fired Steel Reheating Furnace. “I am delighted to have had the opportunity to speak to more than 500 partners in northwest Indiana at the 10th anniversary of the One Region luncheon,” Chiang said. “There is so much potential right here in this region in transportation, in quantum corridor, in hydrogen hub, in health care and in advanced manufacturing. We are also excited for the contribution of Purdue University Northwest to the region’s economic growth and innovation, including today’s celebration of the largest ever federal research grant here, to Purdue Northwest professor Chenn Zhou from the U.S. Department of Energy.”
We are also excited for the contribution of Purdue University Northwest to the region’s economic growth and innovation, including today’s celebration of the largest ever federal research grant here, to Purdue Northwest professor Chenn Zhou from the U.S. Department of Energy.
Thanks to Cleveland Cliffs for organizing a top-rated informative tour at the Indiana Harbor plant. The tour included the reheating furnace, which will be used as a site for the H2RF team to develop an integrated virtual hydrogen-fired reheating furnace, in addition to the site for the field demonstration at Gerdau Monroe Steel Plant in Michigan. The visitor also toured Blast Furnace (BF) #7, the largest BF in North America, which has been used as a site for several DOE grants led by CIVS.
More than 80 people, including Purdue University Northwest, Purdue University, industry, local community, state, federal, and elected leaders, attended the ceremony hosted by PNW. The speakers included PNW Chancellor Thomas Keon and Provost Chris Holford, Congressman Frank Mrvan’s Senior Advisor Mark Lopez, DOE IEDO Director Avi Shultz, Executive Vice President for Environmental & Sustainability at Cleveland-Cliffs Traci Forrester, and CIVS Director Chenn Zhou. The following are examples of remarks about this project: “It’s critically important we get to zero emissions. This is a pivotal moment nationally,” said Shultz. “The steel industry will be the backbone of the green economy with electric vehicles, wind turbines, buildings and transportation infrastructure. The Department of Energy believes it must be American-made steel. But iron and steel production accounts for 7% of carbon emissions and that’s just not sustainable.”
The steel industry will be the backbone of the green economy with electric vehicles, wind turbines, buildings and transportation infrastructure.
“Traditionally, the U.S. industrial sector is one of the most difficult to decarbonize across our economy. This project will demonstrate how we can curb those emissions with clean hydrogen, potentially changing the U.S. steel industry forever,” said DOE Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Jeff Marootian.
I am grateful for the continued leadership of Purdue Northwest’s invaluable Center for Innovation through Visualization and Simulation and this outstanding partnership with the Department of Energy. Let us continue to build on this momentum to show how Northwest Indiana is the example of how we can create at the same time both a greener future and more economic opportunities,” said U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan.
“It’s a good day in Northwest Indiana. To suggest that she (Chenn Zhou) is a gem would be an understatement. She is a gem not just for Northwest Indiana but for the nation. Her work has borne great fruit for the Region,” said Mark Lopez, a senior advisor to U.S. Rep. Frank J. Mrvan.
“An important part of PNW’s role in Northwest Indiana is to partner on impactful research that will improve the quality of life for its neighboring communities. This project will contribute to the significant nationwide effort to develop clean energy solutions for major industrial sectors. To be recognized among other leading universities and research centers is a testament to the outcomes provided by PNW’s faculty and the CIVS team,” said PNW Chancellor Thomas L. Keon.
“CIVS delivers extraordinary outcomes for industry partners through its significant technological tools and impactful research. The CIVS team repeatedly demonstrates how partnering with high-quality resources at a metropolitan university can move key industrial sectors forward for long-lasting results in terms of their production and the surrounding environment. Its history shows industry partners keep returning to consult with the knowledgeable team members for expertise in optimizing their operations,” said PNW Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Kenneth C. Holford.
“The project for a hydrogen-fired reheat furnace will be of vital interest to the entire steelmaking industry,” said Ronald Ashburn, executive director of the Association for Iron and Steel Technology.
This DOE grant will help CIVS lead a nationwide collaboration between industry, academia, and national labs to pioneer a first-of-its-kind industry-scale demonstration of a hydrogen-fired continuous reheating furnace (RF) operation. It will develop and demonstrate hydrogen-firing in an industry-scale RF that operates with a mix of natural gas and hydrogen at various levels, assisted by simulation, visualization, and laboratory experiments, as well as supported by life cycle analysis (LCA) to evaluate energy, economic, and emissions benefits. It will also establish roadmap strategies and operation schemes for zero-carbon dioxide emission production in commercial furnaces with a state-of-the-art Integrated Virtual Reheating Furnace.
“We thank the Department of Energy, PNW leadership, and our project partners, including ArcelorMittal, Argonne National Laboratory, Cleveland-Cliffs, Gerdau, Linde, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, NIPSCO, Ivy Tech, Calumet College of St. John, and NWI Forum, for supporting this important project, which is expected to make positive impacts to our region and nation,” said Zhou. “My special thanks go to our industry co-principal investigators: Joao Gonzaga, senior director of Engineering, and Kevin Kondrat, improvement facilitator of Rolling Mill at Gerdau, and Joe Maiolo, associate director of Research and Development — Metals Applications, from Linde. Our CIVS faculty and student researchers are excited to begin and are looking forward to collaborating with our industrial and research partners to develop and demonstrate the technology to improve the U.S. steel industry’s global competitiveness and reduce carbon emissions.”
Our CIVS faculty and student researchers are excited to begin and are looking forward to collaborating with our industrial and research partners to develop and demonstrate the technology to improve the U.S. steel industry’s global competitiveness and reduce carbon emissions.
The NWI Times also reported the event in an article titled “Largest-ever research grant in Purdue Northwest history could pave carbon-free future for Region steel mills,” written by Joseph S. Pete on Oct 13, 2023.