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Swedish Company Makes World’s First Delivery of “Green Steel” Made without Using Coal

Friday, October 08, 2021

Swedish JV HYBRIT has made the world’s first customer delivery of “green steel,” produced without using coal, to truck-maker Volvo Group/SE, the group announced in August. Studies have shown that conventional processes emit nearly two tonnes of carbon dioxide for every tonne of steel produced, with global manufacture of the alloy accounting for about 7–8 % of greenhouse gas emissions. HYBRIT, which stands for Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology, was created in 2016 by the steel maker SSAB/SE, the mining company LKAB/SE, and the energy firm Vattenfall/SE with the aim of developing a technology for fossil-free iron-and steelmaking. “The test delivery is an important step toward a fully fossil-free iron and steel production value chain and a milestone for the HYBRIT partnership between SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall,” the HYBRIT partnership noted in a statement.

In June, the three companies demonstrated for the first time the pioneering process by producing about 100 t of hydrogen-reduced sponge iron made at Hybrit’s pilot plant in Luleå. With the new hydrogen-reduction process, HYBRIT said in an article published in the journal Metals, the fossil CO2 emission decreases from 1600 kg/t of crude steel to 25 kg/t. This first sponge iron has since been used to produce the first steel made with this breakthrough technology. Simulations also showed that the price for electricity needed for the process can be lowered by 6–7 % by utilizing fossil-free energy sources such as wind power and optimizing the production time in the electrolysis and the size of the hydrogen storage.

“It’s a crucial milestone and an important step towards creating a completely fossil-free value chain from mine to finished steel,” said in a statement Jan Moström, President and CEO of LKAB. “By industrializing this technology in the future and making the transition to the production of sponge iron on an industrial scale, we will enable the steel industry to make the transition. This is the greatest thing we can do together for the climate,” added J. Moström. HYBRIT said the goal is to deliver fossil-free steel to the market and demonstrate the technology on an industrial scale as early as 2026. Using HYBRIT technology, SSAB said it can reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 10 % and Finland’s by approximately 7 %.

www.lkab.com

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