SSAB Launches Research Project Fossil Free Steel in Finland
Fossil Free Steel SSAB

SSAB Launches Research Project Fossil Free Steel in Finland

SSAB has launched an extensive research project Fossil Free Steel in Finland. In the project, SSAB will work together with industrial and

SSAB has launched an extensive research project Fossil Free Steel in Finland. In the project, SSAB will work together with industrial and research partners to explore different solutions and alternatives to produce fossil free steel and thus the ways to withdraw entirely from the use fossil energy. The Towards Fossil-free Steel research project now launched supports SSAB’s strategic goal of gradually transitioning towards fossil free steelmaking by mapping the solutions and alternatives to replace fossil fuels with renewable energy in steelmaking. The FFS research project is a continuation of the 2020 Energy4HYBRIT prefeasibility project, which investigated the need and availability of biomaterial and bioenergy and the techno-economic possibilities to use these in the steel mill processes at SSAB Raahe. The FFS project will build on this work and the goal is to determine solutions to produce green forms of energy, i.e. hydrogen, biochar and biogas for the steel industry. In addition, the project will study the smelting of hydrogen-reduced sponge iron in an electric arc furnace, the manufacture of fossil-free lime and new solutions to utilize the by-products created in the steelmaking processes.

The FFS project will also build the new expertise needed and support billion-euro investment decisions that will correspondingly contribute to reaching goal of carbon neutrality. The project has a total budget of EUR 10.7 million and Business Finland is contributing EUR 5.6 million to the project for a period of two years.

The FFS project business consortium consists of SSAB, Ovako, Fortum, Valmet, Nordkalk, Tapojärvi and Luxmet. The University of Oulu, VTT Technical Research Institute of Finland and Åbo Akademi University are involved in the research part of the project. Other companies supporting the project are ABB, Andritz and Finnsementti. The project is part of the Association of Finnish Steel and Metal Producers’ strategic agenda, which is based on Finland’s goal to be carbon neutral by 2035.

SSAB aims to be completely fossil free and to remove the company’s fossil carbon dioxide emissions by 2045. In 2016, SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall announced the HYBRIT initiative, where the blast furnace process, which causes around 90% of the carbon dioxide emissions originating in blast-furnace-based steelmaking, will be replaced by electric arc furnace technology using direct reduced iron, or sponge iron, obtained using green hydrogen. The new technology removes the use of fossil coking coal needed in the production of crude iron and the remaining fossil fuels needed in production will be replaced with biogas or by electrifying the processes.

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