Fossil fuel-free ‘green’ steel produced for the first time | Smart News
Steel production is the backbone of today’s modern economy. Man-made metal is used in just about everything from bridges and buildings to cars and consumer goods.
However, the steel production process requires considerable energy, which is usually generated by the combustion of fossil fuels which produce abundant carbon, contributing to the climate crisis.
There is now a “green” method of making the metal using a hybrid process powered by hydrogen, reports David Vetter for Forbes. A metallurgical company in Sweden produced the first fossil-free steel in a testing process. SSAB manufactured the metal intended for the Volvo Group for the manufacture of trucks.
The steel was produced using HYBRIT (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology), which uses electricity from renewable sources to create clean burning gas. With this process, hydrogen replaces fossil fuels both in the manufacture of iron pellets and in the carbon purification process, Forbes reports.
“The world’s first fossil-free steel is not only a breakthrough for SSAB, it represents proof that it is possible to make the transition and significantly reduce the global carbon footprint of the steel industry,” said Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO of SSAB. CNBC’s Anmar Frangoul.
Producing steel without using fossil fuels could be a game-changer for the industry, which emits about nine percent of the world’s carbon dioxide. Global steel production expected to increase 33% by 2050, according to International Energy Agency reports Fortune.
“I am happy to be Minister of Enterprise and Energy in a country where industry is bubbling with energy for a (green) reset,” said Ibrahim Baylan, Swedish Minister of Business, Industry and Innovation, at a press conference, according to Helena. Soderpalm for Reuters.
SSAB produced the first shipment of fossil fuel-free steel in a joint venture with state-owned Vattenfall and LKAB, a Swedish mining company. The “green” steel was made in northern Sweden at a HYBRIT pilot plant, which is not expected to be fully operational for five years, Reuters reports.
“The goal is to bring fossil-free steel to market and demonstrate the technology on an industrial scale by 2026,” SSAB officials said in a statement.
Another Swedish company, however, is trying to beat SSAB in the fist. H2 Green Steel says it will be in full production of fossil fuel-free steel at a sustainable hydrogen facility by 2024, CNBC reports.
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