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Howden hydrogen tech used at HYBRIT fossil-free steel plant

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Picture of Meenal Datar

Meenal Datar

Membership specialist

UK air and gas handling product manufacturer Howden has provided its hydrogen storage compression technology for the world’s first fossil fuel-free steel manufacturing plant in Svartöberget, Sweden.

The HYBRIT plant is a collaboration between Sweden’s SSAB, LKAB and Vattenfall. Conventional steel production uses carbon in the form of coke from coal to reduce the iron ore. HYBRIT is developing technology to use hydrogen instead.

Hydrogen will be produced onsite using electrolysers powered by renewable electricity. Howden will provide a high-pressure diaphragm compression package for the hydrogen storage facility, which has a volume of 100 m3 in a rock cavern around 30 m below ground. Howden says that the reliability, efficiency and safety of its compression solution is perfect for large-scale hydrogen storage requirements.

‘Our partnership with HYBRIT demonstrates Howden’s capabilities in developing and delivering state-of-art hydrogen compressor solutions, based on our long standing compression expertise. We have over 100 years of experience in the compression of hydrogen, which is ideally placed to support the transition to a fossil-free energy system,’ says Salah Mahdy, global director – hydrogen at Howden.

“We’re thrilled to be working on this ground-breaking project, which has the potential to reduce Sweden’s total carbon dioxide emissions by at least 10%. The steel industry currently accounts for about 7% of the world’s global carbon emissions, so the creation of a zero emission steel is revolutionary, and may, in the future, help to reduce emissions from iron and steel production worldwide.”

HYBRIT will support the EU’s Hydrogen Strategy, which calls for the installation of at least 6 GW of renewable hydrogen electrolysers in the EU by 2024 and at least 40 GW by 2030. The research at HYBRIT is supported by the Swedish Energy Agency.

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