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About project


Conducted lab-scale experiments have shown that adsorbents based on steel industry side streams have sulphur adsorption properties comparable to primary ZnO. The challenge is how to transfer the results from lab to industrial scale in an economically feasible way and create new business. The aim of the project is to tackle this challenge.

Environmental aspects

  • Close the zinc loop in steel manufacturing processes and avoid zinc-containing hazardous waste to end up landfill.
  • Establish a value chain for the utilization of zinc-containing steel industry side streams in a high-end application and enable new business through the Circular Economy approach.​

Economical aspects

By substituting at least part of the primary ZnO by steel industry side streams, the price of adsorbing pellets can be lowered significantly. The DESULF project will create new business opportunities for companies. In Finland (with 10 gasification based syngasplants in future), the estimated need for ZnO adsorbents is 5 000 t/a for the production of synthesis gas. The target price for pellets is approximately 2.5 €/kg, thus the size of market only in Finland reaches 12.5 M€. Even if only 20% of the gasification plants in the world would use ZnO based sorbents, that would mean approximately 70 M€ market. In addition to targeting the customers in the gasification sector, other industry operators with such process or emission gases that contain small amounts of H2S are potential clients of the new H2S adsorbent materials. Such customers may be found in, e.g.,

  • oil and gas industry,
  • steel industry (coking process of steel),
  • anaerobic digestion processes (biogas, treatment of waste and sludges, food industry, energy production), and
  • other types of energy generation processes (combustion gases).


For example, only the anaerobic digestion market is expected to reach 8000 M€ by the year 2024. Given that the energy consumption is expected to grow steadily in the future, the target market of the EAF dust based H2S adsorbent material is foreseen to undergo systematic growth.

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