Fossil-free steel production requires a supply of carbon to obtain an efficient melting of the hydrogen-reduced iron. The supply of carbon lowers the melting point of iron and can in several ways help to reduce energy consumption during melting in an arc furnace (EAF).
Carbon based on biomass
In traditional blast furnace-based iron production, carburization of the iron is obtained through the large amount of carbon present in the entire process. Within Hybrit, the supply of coal is intended to take place via carbon-containing products based on biomass in order to be able to achieve a completely fossil-free steel production. How this carbon is to be supplied is still an open question. In practice, the carbon supply can take place both in the electric arc furnace and in connection with the reduction using hydrogen. Several different alternatives are being investigated within Hybrit, where researchers at Luleå University of Technology participate in collaboration with LKAB. As the results are currently being evaluated and have not been published scientifically yet, no further details can be given about the research at the moment.
Bildtext: Within Hybrit, the supply of coal is intended to take place via products that contain bio-based carbon, in order to achieve a fossil-free steel production.
How is the price of forest biomass affected?
Within this work package, researchers in Energy Engineering and Economics at Luleå University of Technology also carry out a systems analysis and develop models to be able to predict future raw material supply and prices of forest biomass for steel production within Hybrit. Different scenarios for demand based on the need for biogenic carbon for iron and steel production, and the need for renewable fuels for LKAB's pellet plant (see above) are analyzed.
The researchers also investigate the possibility for Hybrit to use other assortments of forest raw materials, such as logs, stumps, bark and branches and tops, depending on the cost picture.