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Steel News February 04, 2019 08:30:51 AM

Revolutionary HYBRIT Steelmaking Leads To Drastic Reduction in Carbon Emissions

Paul Ploumis
ScrapMonster Author
The Luleå pilot plant is expected to run tests between 2020 and 2024.
Revolutionary HYBRIT Steelmaking Leads To Drastic Reduction in Carbon Emissions

SEATTLE (Scrap Monster): The pilot facility in Luleå, Northern Sweden has led to a revolution in steelmaking, by drastically reducing carbon emissions. The facility, which broke grounds in June 2018, aims to reduce industry carbon emissions to virtually nil.

The project called HYdrogen BReakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT) aims to revolutionize steelmaking process by replacing traditionally used coke with hydrogen produced from renewable electricity. In traditional steelmaking process, the carbon in coke reacts with oxygen in iron ore to generate carbon dioxide. However, if hydrogen is used as substitute, it will react with oxygen in iron ore to form water vapour.

The success of the pilot is expected to reduce Sweden’s carbon dioxide emissions by 10% and that of Finland by 7%. It could further be scaled to other parts of the world, which in turn could result in fossil-free steel production.

The Luleå pilot plant is expected to run tests between 2020 and 2024. By 2028, the plant is scheduled to scale up to a demonstration plant, which will start running as an industrial facility. The industrial process is expected to be in place by 2035.

Although implications of the HYBRIT steelmaking process are quite significant, initial research indicates that the production costs associated with the process will be 20-30% greater when compared with traditional steelmaking process. However, expected decline in renewable energy costs may help to narrow the gap over time.

HYBRIT is a joint venture between SSAB- the Nordic steel company, LKAB- Europe’s largest iron ore producer and Vattenfall- one of Europe’s largest electricity producers, which operates a number of hydropower facilities.