Swedish steelmaker SSAB has supplied automotive group Volvo with what is claimed as the world’s first fossil fuel-free steel, produced from iron reduced using 100% hydrogen instead of coal and coke in the process.

The initial delivery was touted as a step toward a completely fossil fuel-free value chain as part of the The world's first sponge iron produced using hydrogen by the HYBRIT consortium in Sweden. Source: VattenfallThe world's first sponge iron produced using hydrogen by the HYBRIT consortium in Sweden. Source: VattenfallHydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT) consortium involving SSAB, the utility Vattenfall and iron mining company LKAB. The HYBRIT process consumes hydrogen as the reductant as iron ore and limestone are combined to create steel, replacing reliance on coke. The traditional coal-fired blast furnace is also replaced with an electric arc furnace.

The steelmaker has set a goal to reduce the carbon dioxide emissions in Sweden by 10% and those of Finland by 7%, just by switching to the HYBRIT technology. The companies aim to start delivering the steel to the market on an industrial scale starting in 2026.

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