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Charley Rattan's picture
World Hydrogen Leader , Charley Rattan Associates

UK based offshore wind & hydrogen corporate advisor and trainer; Faculty member World Hydrogen Leaders. Delivering global hydrogen and offshore wind corporate investment advice, business...

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  • Aug 19, 2021


The world’s first customer delivery of “green steel” produced without using coal is taking place in Sweden, according to its manufacturer.

The Swedish venture Hybrit said it was delivering the steel to truck-maker Volvo AB as a trial run before full commercial production in 2026. Volvo has said it will start production in 2021 of prototype vehicles and components from the green steel.

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Nathan Wilson's picture
Nathan Wilson on Aug 21, 2021

It's worth noting that "green steel" (wherein the iron ore is "reduced" to metallic iron using green hydrogen instead of syngas) is really only clean in places like Sweden which have clean electricity (theirs is  from nuclear and hydro).  In places like the US and Germany, the electricity is still way too dirty (using grid power with RE certificates is a rather phony solution). 

I've seen European proposals to make clean hydrogen using off-grid wind-farms. That's a clean solution, but very expensive, since it means running those expensive electrolysis units at the low capacity factor of European windpower.  It would actually be better for air pollution to use the windpower to displace more coal-fired electricity, and use fossil gas to make the iron.

Note also that this is definitely not the first steel made without coal.  Iron ore is reduced using carbon-monoxide in a blast-furnace or syngas (a carbon-monoxide and hydrogen mixture) in a direct-reduction furnace, and syngas can be made from coal or fossil gas.  Surely there are many places (e.g. the Middle East) where fossil gas is cheaper than coal.

Joe Deely's picture
Joe Deely on Aug 23, 2021

is really only clean in places like Sweden which have clean electricity (theirs is  from nuclear and hydro)...

Actually current clean electricity in Sweden is from hydro, nuclear, wind and solar.

It's also worth noting that as nuclear retires in Sweden it is being replaced by wind/solar.   The current rolling 12 month data for Sweden shows that wind is currently at 16% of total generation in Sweden vs 30% for nuclear.

Plenty of wind/solar in the pipeline and an aging nuclear fleet means that it is only a matter of time(this decade) before wind/solar surpass nuclear in Sweden.

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