International Steel Mills

Swedish Mill Uses Hydrogen to Heat Steel, Reduce Emissions

Written by Sandy Williams

A significant development in Sweden may allow a cleaner, more environmentally friendly way to heat steel in the future.

Steelmaker Ovako and its partner Linde Gas AB have successfully completed a full-scale trial using hydrogen to heat steel before rolling. In trials at its Hofors rolling mill, the company said it proved that the heating method can eliminate carbon dioxide emissions without affecting steel quality. The only emission generated when using hydrogen is water vapor.

“This is a major development for the steel industry. It is the first time that hydrogen has been used to heat steel in an existing production environment. Thanks to the trial, we know that hydrogen can be used simply and flexibly, with no impact on steel quality, which would mean a very large reduction in the carbon footprint. We have worked closely with Linde for many years and are proud to be doing this together,” says Göran Nyström, EVP Group Marketing & Technology.

Ovako estimates that an initial investment by the company in the hydrogen method would reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20,000 metric tons each year. Ovako is a producer of bar, tube ring and steel pre-components and is a subsidiary of Sanyou Special Steel and a member of Nippon Steel Corporation group.

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