Sweden Will Try To Smelt Steel Using Hydrogen As A Reducing Agent

- May 15, 2018 -

A new pilot plant is being built in northern Sweden that will use the hydrogen produced from renewable electricity as a reducing agent to make steel, Digital Journal said on May 15.The new technology is so environmentally friendly that the only emissions it produces will be zero-pollution water vapor.

In 2016, Europe's largest iron ore producers LKAB company, one of Europe's largest power producers Sweden big waterfalls electric power company (Vattenfall) and steel products manufacturers (SSAB Swedish steel company jointly created HYBRIT factory, this is a dedicated to change the traditional technique of steel production joint venture.

By February 2018, the consortium has completed its research and is planning to start planning and designing a pilot plant in Lulea this spring and an iron ore deposit in Norrbotten.The total cost of the joint venture is estimated to be 20 million Swedish kronor ($2.5 million or 2 million euros) and the Swedish energy agency will account for half of the financing.

LKAB, President and chief executive of Jan Mostrom said: "no fossil fuels the establishment of the steelmaking process begins with mine, at present we are trying to design the next generation of iron ore pellet factory, it will also increase highly electrification and automation of mine design plan for the future research and development efforts".

MartenGornerup, the chief executive of HYBRIT, held talks last week with EURACTIV, the European news site.One of the highlights of the interview is that HYBRIT has designed a new steel value chain that covers everything from iron ore extraction to steel production.

The aim is to eventually "completely replace" Sweden's traditional iron ore production, cutting the country's carbon emissions by 10 per cent.Although the new technology production cost will be 20% to 30% higher than traditional steelmaking cost, but as a result of carbon-based fuel prices and green energy costs continue to drop and therefore expect this technology will continue to drop in production costs.

The technical process of HYBRIT refers to the use of hydrogen as the reduction gas to restore the special iron ore pellets in the "direct reduction process".The process occurs at a lower temperature than the temperature of the blast furnace, except for the removal of intermediate products, sponge iron or direct reduction of iron (DRI), and only water vapor is discharged from the top of the furnace.

This part of the water can be collected and purified so that it can be reused in the factory production process.Hydrogen is produced by electrolysis using renewable energy (wind, water, or solar), where oxygen is a by-product.

HYBRIT said, they will be in a pilot project to solve two major problems: one is to develop an effective process, can be used on industrial scale of 100% hydrogen as steelmaking deoxidizer, 2 it is to find a kind of efficient hydrogen production technology, the technology should be reasonable in terms of economy, commercially viable.

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