Thursday 6 August 2020

Hydrogen to energise ‘world’s first’ fossil fuel-free steel production

Hydrogen to energise ‘world’s first’ fossil fuel-free steel production

Hydrogen could play a pivotal role in what is considered to be the 'world's first' fossil fuel-free iron production.

A joint venture known as Hybrit, comprising energy firm Vattenfall, steel company SSAB and mining group LKAB, has completed successful trials of its technology.

LKAB's pellet plant in Malmberget aims to produce fossil-free iron ore pellets using renewable electricity and a 'greener' heating technology - alternative fuels, including hydrogen and plasma, have been tested in the process.

The switch from coke and coal to green electricity and hydrogen during steelmaking creates the by-product of water instead of carbon dioxide.

The full-scale tests, which will last until 2021, will replace fossil oil with bio-oil, reducing emissions for the operation by 40% during the test.

Partners claim the project could have the potential to reduce Sweden's carbon dioxide emissions by 10%.

Markus Petäjäniemi, Senior Vice President Market and Technology at LKAB, said: "Achieving positive results from different heating technologies represents an important milestone on the road to delivering the world’s very first fossil-free iron ore pellets and further on in the value chain for fossil-free steel."

Martin Pei, CTO at SSAB and initiator of the HYBRIT project, commented: "SSAB’s goal is to be able to offer fossil-free steel to the market as early as 2026."

Andreas Regnell, SVP Strategic Development at Vattenfall and Chairman of HYBRIT, added: "It’s very pleasing that our joint HYBRIT project is constantly taking important steps forwards, steps that will enable us to produce fossil-free steel, which has a natural place in a fossil-free society."

Written by

Bruna Pinhoni

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