46 million SEK for research into fossil-free steel

The biggest research collaboration in Sweden to date, between academia, institutes and industry on fossil-free advanced steel manufacturing and production is now starting. The investment, a total of SEK 46 million, will accelerate the green transition and the Swedish steel industry’s goal of zero emissions of carbon dioxide. The Luleå University of Technology, the metal research institute Swerim and SSAB are collaborating on the new project.

– We must enable a transition to climate-neutral and resource-efficient steel production and steel use. Through industry-related research and collaboration with the steel industry and the surrounding society, Luleå University of Technology contributes knowledge, tools and competence provision to reach the climate goals, says Jens Hardell, professor of machine elements at the Luleå University of Technology and project manager for the research collaboration.

Forskningssamarbetet FINAST, The research collaboration FINAST, Research and Innovation in Norrbotten for advanced green steel production and manufacturing, is an interdisciplinary initiative financed by the EU Fund for a just transition and the Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth. The collaboration between the Luleå University of Technology and Swerim means that about 15 researchers in 9 different research subjects participate and that about ten doctoral positions are established, which will ensure future excellence in the field. Several specialists and experts from SSAB will be involved in the various research projects.

The research effort is divided into two main parts, where the first part deals with the properties and performance of fossil-free steel. The goal is to take advantage of the added value that fossil-free steel provides. Here, behaviour and properties are studied in manufacturing processes and where the steel is used in various components by end users who develop new products made of steel. The researchers will also study how different manufacturing processes affect component properties and the steel’s behaviour when it comes into contact with hydrogen. The second part deals with fossil-free steel production with a focus on using hydrogen and bio-based raw materials. An important question then is to develop knowledge about how biogenic sources and hydrogen can best be used in future steel production, partly from a process point of view, and partly from a societal system perspective. Research that increases safety knowledge when using industrial hydrogen-based energy systems is also prioritized.

Kontact: Jens Hardell, professor inom maskinelement vid Luleå tekniska universitet och projektledare för forskningssamarbetet FINAST, jens.hardell@ltu.se, 0920- 49 17 74, Jonas Engdahl, Sustainable Facilities, Strategic Energy SSAB, jonas.engdahl@ssab.com, 070-696 24 78, Mikael Larsson, affärsområdeschef Metallurgi Swerim, mikael.larsson@swerim.se, 070-335 12 38

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