Vattenfall has joined forces with Swedish minerals group LKAB and steel company SSAB to launch an initiative to address the carbon dioxide problem in the Swedish iron and steel industry. Together, the companies are seeking to develop a steel production process that emits water instead of CO2.
Although steel and iron production has become significantly more CO2-efficient in recent years, the current process based on coke plants and blast furnaces is still dependent on coal. Sweden is uniquely positioned to develop a solution to this problem, with its specialised, innovative steel industry, access to fossil-free electricity and the highest-quality iron ore in Europe.
SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have committed to finding a long-term solution to the CO2 problem in the steel production process, launching a joint development project that will explore the feasibility of using hydrogen instead of carbon for iron ore reduction, thus eliminating the root cause of CO2 emissions from iron making.
The preliminary study is estimated to last a year and a half and to be followed by a research and development programme within a pilot project. In theory, the technology could be introduced in the early 2030s.
Is renewable electricity and hydrogen the solution to CO2-free steel?