Swedish steel manufacturer SSAB has announced that it has produced the world’s first fossil-free steel. As part of a trial delivery, the steel was sent to its first customer, Swedish automaker Volvo Group.
The first-of-its-kind steel was developed through HYBRIT, an initiative formed in 2016 between SSAB and state-owned firms LKAB and Vattenfall, who specialize in energy and mining, respectively. Its aim was to develop a technology for fossil-free iron and steelmaking.
The group was able to replace coking coal, the process traditionally used for steelmaking, with fossil-free electricity and hydrogen. The result is a porous material called sponge iron, which is a combination of fossil-free hydrogen and iron ore. This past June, the team showcased the successful execution of this process at HYBRIT’s pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden. Volvo plans to experiment with the initial batch of steel through the production of prototype vehicles and parts.