LULEÅ, SWEDEN – The world’s first steel made without fossil fuels has been produced in Sweden.
SSAB, a Nordic and U.S.-based steel company, announced that it has manufactured the steel product and delivered it to Volvo Group to build cars. The technology was developed by HYBRIT, a partnership between SSAB, mining company LKAB and green energy company Vattenfall.
The steel was produced using 100 per cent fossil-free hydrogen instead of coal and coke. SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall created HYBRIT, Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology, in 2016, with the aim of developing a technology for fossil-free iron- and steelmaking. 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, Sweden. This first sponge iron has since been used to produce the first steel made with the new technology.
“The first fossil-free steel in the world is not only a breakthrough for SSAB, it represents 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,” says Martin Lindqvist, president and CEO of SSAB, in a press release.
The group explained that their goal is to deliver fossil-free steel to the market and demonstrate the technology on an industrial scale as early as 2026. The stated that using HYBRIT technology, SSAB has the potential to reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by approximately ten per cent and Finland’s by approximately seven per cent.