Swedish steelmaker SSAB has produced the first fossil-free steel in the world and is delivering it to Volvo Group. The material was manufactured using hydrogen instead of coal and coke.
SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall created Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT) in 2016 with the aim of developing a technology for fossil-free iron and steelmaking. In June, the three companies showcased the world’s first hydrogen-reduced sponge iron produced at HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå. It was used to produce the first steel made with the breakthrough technology, the group said.
The goal is to deliver fossil-free steel to the market and demonstrate the technology on an industrial scale as early as 2026, they added.
The steel industry today accounts for 7% of total global carbon dioxide emissions.
Using HYBRIT technology, SSAB has the potential to reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by 10% and Finland’s by 7%, the companies said.
The greatest thing three companies can do together for the climate
Martin Lindqvist, President and CEO of SSAB, said the first fossil-free steel in the world is not only a breakthrough for SSAB, but proof that it’s possible to make the transition and significantly reduce the global carbon footprint of the steel industry. “We hope that this will inspire others to also want to speed up the green transition,” he added.
According to Jan Moström, President and CEO of LKAB, it is a crucial milestone and an important step towards creating a completely fossil-free value chain from mine to finished steel. This is the greatest thing three companies can do together for the climate, he said.
Electrification is contributing to making fossil-free living possible within one generation, said Anna Borg, President and CEO of Vattenfall.