HYBRIT Research & Development (R&D) program for fossil-free steel
Since 2016, SSAB has been working with its partners Swedish iron ore producer LKAB and energy company Vattenfall in a joint venture project known as HYBRIT. Together, they are creating a process based on fossil-free electricity and hydrogen that will result in the development of a world’s first: fossil-free steel that produces virtually no CO2 emissions.
As Martin Pei explains, the results so far have exceeded all his and his colleagues’ expectations.
“We’ve been working systematically through the initial research program carried out at universities and research institutes, the dedicated Hybrit R&D Laboratory, and, most recently, the extensive pilot research program, and we’re very satisfied with the results,” he says, adding that it has become increasingly clear that the HYBRIT® technology pathway is a truly viable solution.
Better results than expected
“Not only does it work, but, better still, we’ve discovered that this production technology delivers benefits we hadn’t anticipated in terms of product quality and cost efficiency,” Pei continues. “In short, the results have been better than we dared to hope!”
So what’s next for the HYBRIT R&D program?
“We have applied for a series of patents,” Pei explains. “Why? Because it’s the ambition of the HYBRIT partners to develop a technology that can be used not only by us but also by others to contribute to mitigating climate change on a worldwide level.”
When developing a groundbreaking technology such as the formula for fossil-free steel, Martin Pei explains that companies tend to go down one of two routes.