Pilot scale direct reduction with hydrogen

HYBRIT is conducting trials on the direct reduction of iron ore pellets using hydrogen in our pilot plant in Luleå, Sweden. The trials will run during 2020-2024, starting with fossil-free hydrogen in spring 2021. The plant has a direct reduction shaft, where the reduction takes place, and a number of electrolyzers for the production of hydrogen using fossil-free electricity.

Direct reduction means that iron ore, which mainly consists of different iron oxides, is reduced to a porous, solid product of pure metallic iron – sponge iron –at temperatures below the melting point of the iron. The reduction involves removing the oxygen from the iron ore, which is a prerequisite for steel production. In a traditional process, this is done using carbon or coke, while in the HYBRIT process the reduction is done using fossil-free hydrogen.

Using hydrogen instead of carbon and coke during the reduction makes HYBRIT’s process a fossil-free alternative to the blast furnace process. The HYBRIT process is based on commercially-proven direct reduction processes, where the reduction is done using natural gas.

In the HYBRIT process, water and fossil-free electricity are used to create hydrogen. When hydrogen reacts with iron oxide, water is formed instead of carbon dioxide. The water can then be reused for electrolysis in the hydrogen production.

Visit our direct reduction pilot

Join us for a virtual tour of HYBRIT’s pilot plant for direct reduction with hydrogen. In the plant trials of direct reduction and production of hydrogen are taking place.