Smelting sponge iron in electric arc furnace

HYBRIT is conducting pilot-scale smelting trials in collaboration with Swerim at their plant in Luleå, Sweden. The trials began in 2019, and are expected to run until 2023. In the plant, trials are being conducted to smelt sponge iron (the product in solid form resulting from the direct reduction) in the form of so-called DRI and HBI in the arc furnace. DRI stands for Direct Reduced Iron and is sponge iron in pellet form. HBI stands for Hot Briquetted Iron and is sponge iron in briquet form (several sponge iron pellets pressed together into a larger lump).


The traditional way of producing steel involves removing oxygen from the iron ore using carbon and coke in a blast furnace, in what is known as a reduction process. The raw iron that is tapped from the blast furnace is liquid and moves on in that form through the process until it is poured out as ingots.

The HYBRIT process involves removing the oxygen from the iron ore using hydrogen. The reduction occurs at a lower temperature and the result is so-called sponge iron (direct reduced iron). The sponge iron is smelted in a furnace, powered by electricity. The furnace is called an Electric Arc Furnace (EAF).

Visit our smelting trials

Visit the research facility where we carry out our trials, smelting DRI and HBI in the electric arc furnace.