The RFCS is a separate, complementary programme to FP7 with the aim of supporting the competitiveness of the steel and coal industry. It covers all aspects of research, from production processes to applications and follows a clear ‘bottom-up’ approach with a strong industrial focus.
EU funding in 2009
The most significant uses of coal are in electricity generation, steel production, cement manufacturing, and as a liquid fuel. It is also an essential ingredient in specialist products such as activated carbon, which is used in filters for water and air purification; carbon fibre for the building industry; and silicon metal, from which lubricants, resins, shampoo and cosmetics are derived.Coal or coal by-products are components of thousands of different products. Its availability and flexibility make it a major source of power generation. About 30 % of EU electricity is coal-based. However, despite this vital role, coal has a number of negative environmental impacts, notably CO2 emissions. Innovation and the resulting improvements in technology can reduce or eliminate these. This is why the EU is strongly promoting research in the development of clean coal technologies.
Due to its strength, attractiveness and sustainability, steel is one of the most commonly used materials. It comes in different types and has innumerable applications which facilitate and improve our daily lives. It is used, for example, in the building industry and in vehicles, machines, medical devices and household equipment; it is also the material of design and innovation. Although steel is completely recyclable, its production process is very energy intensive. Modern research thus investigates the reduction of emissions and energy consumption in the steel production process and the mitigation of environmental impacts of steel production.