The world’s first “fossil-free” steel

Swedish steel company SSAB Oxelösund in collaboration with various parties created what they say is the world’s first “fossil-free” steel delivery, made with green hydrogen, rather than coal and coke.

The steel industry creates large CO2-emissions. For every tonne of steel, 1.85 tonnes of CO2 are produced, generating between 7 and 9% of direct emissions from the global use of fossil fuels.

To make the steel, SSAB used HYBRIT technology (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology), which was created by the company, along with LKAB and Vattenfall in 2016. They aimed to make a technology for fossil-free iron- and steelmaking. The hydrogen is 100% fossil-free.

In June 2021, the three companies were able to showcase the world’s first hydrogen-reduced sponge iron produced at HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå. This first sponge iron has since been used to produce the first steel made with this breakthrough technology.

In Oxelösund, SSAB will start using an electric arc furnace in 2025. Using the new technology, SSAB claims it can reduce the CO2 emissions of Sweden by 10 per cent and of Finland by 7 per cent.

Designer Lena Bergström made a candle holder from a piece of the world’s first fossil-free steel. Volvo Group is the first customer of fossil-free steel.

Photos: SSAB