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Hydrogen used to heat steel for the first time

Swedish manufacturing company Ovako, in collaboration with its partner Linde Gas, has conducted the first full-scale trial using hydrogen instead of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) to heat steel before rolling.

Performed in one of the company’s pit furnaces at the Hofors rolling mill in Sweden, the trial showed that heating with hydrogen does not affect the quality of the product. Given the right conditions, Ovako could therefore introduce hydrogen heating for furnaces at all its rolling mills and thereby drastically reduce its carbon footprint.

‘If we can make this investment, it would have a great positive impact on the environment,’ says Anders Lugnet, Group Technical Specialist, Energy and Furnace Technology at Ovako. ‘Our estimate is that an initial investment would save 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) each year, and that is just the beginning. We performed this trial in such a way that it can be reproduced at full scale in Hofors and at our other rolling mills.’

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