Linde and specialty steel manufacturer Ovako have conducted a full-scale test to heat steel with hydrogen before rolling in Sweden, which the two companies say is a world first.

Performed with good results in one of Ovako’s pit ovens at its steel mill in Hofors, controls of the steel show that heating with hydrogen did not affect the quality of the steel.

In a statement, Linde said this means good conditions for introducing heating of full-scale rolling mill furnaces, which would drastically reduce the carbon footprint of the steel industry.

“This is a big event for the steel industry. This is the first time hydrogen has been used to heat steel in an existing production environment,” Anders Lugnet, Technical Group Specialist in the field of Energy & Furnace Technology at Ovako, said.

Linde Ovako

Source: Linde

“Thanks to the test we know that it is possible to use hydrogen gas easily and flexibly, without affecting the quality of the steel, which would mean a very large reduction in the carbon dioxide imprint of the steel.”

“For many years, we have worked closely with Linde and are proud to be able to do this together with them.”

Ola Ritzén, Product Manager Metallurgy at Linde Northern Europe, commented, “Being first with new technology is always exciting.”

“Already this autumn, we tried to heat Ovako’s steel with hydrogen at Lindes Combustion Tech Center in Älvsjö. The results were very promising. Therefore, it is extra fun to see that it also works in full operation.”