Green hydrogen enables the decarbonization of steel production

By powering the transition to fossil-free industries, green hydrogen plays a key role in fighting climate change. At H2 Green Steel, we will use our green hydrogen to decarbonize hard to abate industries – starting with steel, which accounts for 25 percent of Europe’s industrial emissions. To enable this, our production site in Boden, northern Sweden, will hold the world’s largest electrolysis plants for green hydrogen production to date.

Green hydrogen is produced by decomposing water into hydrogen and oxygen in a process known as electrolysis. H2 Green Steel will build a giga-scale electrolysis, powered by fossil-free electricity, as an integrated part of our production site, producing the green hydrogen needed to bring 5 million tonnes of high-quality steel to the market by 2030, with a gradual ramp up starting in 2025.

The main area of use for our green hydrogen will be to reduce iron ore to direct-reduced-iron, DRI (also referred to as iron sponge). By using green hydrogen instead of coal, we can reduce CO2 emissions from the reduction process with around 95 percent.

So, how does it all work? In traditional steel making, reduction of iron ore is done by heating it together with coal, utilizing a chemical reaction that separates the oxygen from the iron, forming and emitting CO2. In our production, green hydrogen reacts with iron ore similarly to carbon, resulting in the extraction of oxygen. But instead of creating CO2, the main by-product is H2O.

Large-scale green hydrogen production will enable the transition of hard-to-abate industries towards sustainable operations. And as a front-runner, H2 Green Steel will play an important part in accelerating decarbonization.