Fossil-Free Steel

What is the Fossil-free Steel project? 

A pilot project to develop a fossil-free steelmaking route with hydrogen.

About the Fossil-free Steel Project 

SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall joined forces to create HYBRIT – a joint venture project that endeavours to revolutionize steel making. HYBRIT aims to replace coking coal, traditionally needed for ore-based steel making, with hydrogen. The result will be unique: the world’s first fossil-free steel-making technology, with virtually no carbon footprint. The goal is to have a solution for fossil-free steel by 2026.  

Why is the Fossil-free Steel Project Happening? 

Steel manufacturing has a significant environmental impact with high CO2 emission, and the industry is exploring ways of making steel making more sustainable. The steel industry world-wide leads to 7% of the total CO2 emission.

What is the project outcome expected to be? 

Conversion of a blast furnace in Luleå and Oxelösund in Sweden, enabling SSAB to cut its carbon dioxide emissions by 25 % by as early as 2025. Ultimately the CO2 emission will be reduced by 10% in Sweden and by 7% in Finland.

The Role of Kiwa 

The fossil-free steelmaking route includes a Lined Rock Cavern for hydrogen storage. The storage is as an innovative part of the system that serve as a buffer for weekly variations in electrolysis by electricity from wind.

We provide technical assistance for assurance of structural integrity within the project developing a lined rock cavern. The rock carry the load while the lining shall provide leak tightness, during the life time and for all deformation cases.

No specific standards exists and we supported in analysis of safety margins to fracture and fatigue of the steel lining. The goal is to assure that the storage can sustain the variation in pressure and embrittlement during the design lifetime.

  • Analysis of the metal lining with respect to effects from hydrogen on fatigue, embrittlement, and defect tolerance for all load cases.
  • Probabilistic analyses by Monte Carlo simulations to assess what safety factors that are required in this specific application considering the scatter in properties and loads.
  • We clarified the controlling load cases and failure modes.
  • We determined defect sizes that must be detected in welds at manufacturing.
  • We clarified important tests, NDT and quality assurance.
  • Kiwa acted as third-party inspectors of pressure equipment in the pilot hydrogen steel process plant.