Swedish venture Hybrit (Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology) says it has supplied Volvo with the world’s first customer delivery of “green steel,” pointing the way for the auto industry’s transition to a fossil-free value chain.
“The goal is to deliver fossil-free steel to the market and demonstrate the technology on an industrial scale as early as 2026,”, writes Reuters, citing a release by SSAB, one of Hybrit’s parent companies.
Green steel is produced using renewable electricity and hydrogen instead of metallurgical coal. Shifting to the new process could be a big step for reducing global emissions, 8% of which are currently attributed to steel production.
Hydrogen is an important part of the EU’s plan to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, by which time “the steel industry alone is on track to gobble up 50% of the carbon budget needed to keep warming to 1.5°C, which means it’s a great place to start when it comes to cutting back our emissions,” writes ScienceAlert.
The delivery was a trial run for Hybrit, a joint venture between SSAB, Swedish state utility Vattenfall, and government-owned mining company LKAB. Hybrit began testing operations last year, and hopes to scale up to industrial production by 2026. H2 Green Steel, another venture planning to build a fossil fuel–free steel plant in the north of Sweden, hopes to enter the green steel market in 2024, reports Reuters.
With its first shipment in hand, Volvo plans to begin production for green steel prototype vehicles and parts later this year.