Alfa Laval heat exchanger made from  fossil-free steel
Alfa Laval heat exchanger made from  fossil-free steel

Alfa Laval heat exchanger made using SSAB fossil-free steel supports carbon-neutral future

SSAB and Alfa Laval: two industry-leading Swedish companies with a shared vision for a fossil-free future. Now, they have joined forces to develop the world’s first heat exchanger made using fossil-free steel.

Alfa Laval is a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling. One component that plays a crucial part in everything Alfa Laval does is a seemingly humble piece of equipment that allows heat to be exchanged between two fluids when they are at different temperatures. It is called a heat exchanger and can be found inside all kinds of everyday processes, from the heating and cooling of homes, shops, and offices to the production of food, chemicals, and fuels.

Saving energy with Alfa Laval’s heat exchangers

The main role of a heat exchanger is to optimize energy use. Alfa Laval’s industry-leading heat exchanger technology is up to 50 percent more efficient than traditional shell and tube technology.

As Thomas Møller, President, Alfa Laval Energy Division, explains, Alfa Laval installs millions of heat exchangers every year that deliver huge energy-saving benefits. The drawback: the vast majority of heat exchangers are made primarily from steel.

“Since steel currently accounts for 7 percent of the world’s total CO2 emissions, it represents one of the main hurdles on our road to becoming carbon neutral by 2030,” says Møller, adding that access to fossil-free steel will have a major impact on both Alfa Laval’s and society’s ability to minimize their carbon emissions.

Race to net zero

“Because they are so energy efficient, heat exchangers can make a great contribution to the race to net zero. Producing them from a fossil-free supply chain is a must for us,” he adds.

Concept Zero is a vision conceived by Alfa Laval that is set to play a vital part in the company’s aim to become carbon neutral by 2030. The objective of Concept Zero is to produce the world’s first carbon-neutral heat exchanger made using fossil-free steel, with recycled material in the gaskets.

 

Fossil-free steel from SSAB

The fossil-free steel for the heat exchanger will be made using HYBRIT technology and supplied by SSAB.

“We are very excited about the SSAB partnership,” says Møller. “This is about going into action mode; about making things happen. Two big industrial companies in Sweden together having an international impact. That is pretty exciting!”

Working closely together with its customers is nothing new for SSAB.

“Our partnership was launched in June 2022 and, a few weeks ago, at COP27, we presented a prototype made using fossil-free steel,” exclaims Møller. “The response from our customers is overwhelming, and there’s already a clear demand for buying fossil-free heat exchangers at a premium.”

This could be an important step in the ongoing transition towards a more sustainable society.

Thomas Møller, President, Alfa Laval Energy Division

Thomas Møller says the partnership with SSAB has the potential to generate what he calls an “invisible revolution”.

“Just imagine the impact of fossil-free heat exchangers being installed in various industrial processes all over the world!” he says. “This could be an important step in the ongoing transition towards a more sustainable society.”

Every year, the millions of heat exchangers installed and serviced by Alfa Laval contribute to energy savings to the tune of 100GW. This is equivalent to:

  • more than the global wind power capacity from newly installed wind turbines in 2021 (93GW)
  • savings of 50 million tonnes of CO2, or the annual CO2 emissions of Sweden

 

Global industrial transformation

“What we are doing now with SSAB is changing the way we run industrial operations. Fossil-free steel will enable us to reduce carbon emissions both in terms of the material we use and the products and processes we run. And we can do it on a global scale – thanks to the best of Swedish engineering,” Møller concludes.

Concept Zero

Concept Zero is Alfa Laval’s vision and stated target to produce the world’s first carbon-neutral heat exchanger by 2030. The heat exchanger is being made using fossil-free steel from SSAB and recycled materials. Concept Zero will play a major part in enabling Alfa Laval to achieve its objective to become carbon neutral by 2030, while also eliminating emissions from its products, from raw material extraction to end-of-life.

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