Stockholm (NordSIP) – For some time now, industrial conglomerates have caught up to the need to clean their production processes. In Sweden, SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall have joined forces through the Hydrogen Breakthrough Ironmaking Technology (HYBRIT) partnership in 2016 with the aim to decarbonise the steel production process. HYBRIT seeks to replace fossil fuels with hydrogen made from fossil-free electricity and water.
Now, one of the leading global steel and mining companies, ArcelorMittal, with revenues of US$76.6 billion and crude steel production of 69.1 million metric tonnes, announced that it had joined the race. ArcelorMittal successfully tested the use of green hydrogen in the production of direct reduced iron (“DRI”) at its steel plant in Contrecoeur, in Quebec, Canada.
The iron ore reduction process is the most polluting part of the steel making process and contributes alone to more than 75% of AMLPC overall CO2 emissions. DRI is a process which replaces the use of fossil fuels, with green hydrogen. Instead of producing CO2 emissions, the by-product of this green process is water, which in turn can be recovered for the production of hydrogen gas.
“We have just demonstrated that Quebec can become a global pioneer in the production of low CO2 steel, by reducing its greenhouse gas emissions,” François Perras, President and CEO of ArcelorMittal Long Products Canada’s (“AMLPC”), said on this occasion.
During this first test, 6.8% of natural gas was replaced with green hydrogen during a 24-hour period, which contributed to a measurable reduction in CO2 emissions. The green hydrogen used in the test was produced by a third-party owned electrolyser (device that produces green hydrogen from electricity and water) and was then transported to Contrecoeur.
ArcelorMittal aims to reduce its CO2 emissions intensity by 25% by 2030 on a global scale and achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.