Picture: HYBRIT Pilot plant for direct reduction with hydrogen, Luleå / Lars Ydreskog, LKAB. Photo: Åsa Bäcklin, HYBRIT
Hybrit is one of the finalists in the Swedish Mining Innovation Award 2021 for the world’s first direct-reduced sponge iron in pellet form reduced with hydrogen. We got a few words with Lars Ydreskog from LKAB who is a board member of Hybrit.
Congratulations, Hybrit is a finalist in the Swedish Mining Innovation Award 2021! How does it feel?
Very good! Humble, but still thinks that Hybrit are worthy of being finalist after the successes that have been made – first in the world with fossil-free steel.
Tell us a little about the Hybrit technology and the world’s first direct-reduced sponge iron
This is purposeful and innovative research to reduce the oxygen in the iron ore with green hydrogen and produce a fossil-free sponge iron with a metallization degree of 95%. This is extremely important as the current value chain for steel emits more than 7% of the world’s total carbon dioxide emissions, with Hybrit technology and electrification of LKAB’s future mines and refining, it will be close to 0 in carbon dioxide emissions.
What is it that makes this so unique?
The unique is the collaboration between LKAB, Vattenfall and SSAB to develop a fossil-free value chain from mine, renewable electricity to finished steel.
Tell me, what’s going on around Hybrit right now?
Right now, there is full focus on campaigns in the pilot plant with direct reduction with hydrogen to identify the optimal process and construction of hydrogen storage underground. With the positive results from Hybrit, the owner companies intend to continue to industrialize on a large scale via a demo. LKAB’s strategy is to switch production to fossil-free iron sponge iron.