“We’re going down to zero.”
That’s what Thomas Hörnfeldt, vice president of sustainable business at the Swedish-based steel-maker SSAB, told The Narwhal of his company’s carbon emissions.
Hörnfeldt spoke to me on a video call from his office in Stockholm, a virtual backdrop of a picturesque Swedish canal flickering behind his office chair. He proudly displays a small piece of what he described as SSAB’s first fossil-fuel-free steel on his desk.
The company made that sample, no coal needed, a year ago in the basement of a technical university in Stockholm. It’s an early step in SSAB’s commitment to completely eliminate carbon pollution from its steel manufacturing plants.
SSAB, which produces approximately 8.8 million tonnes of steel every year at its production plants in Sweden, Finland and the United States, has invested in technology that uses clean hydrogen in place of metallurgical coal.
Metallurgical coal has long been used to manufacture steel, one of the most ubiquitous materials on the planet. Coal is conventionally used for heating and in chemical reactions to create iron, the essential ingredient needed to make steel. But as the world grapples with the climate crisis, the steel industry’s centuries-old reliance on coal — and its enormous carbon footprint — is being called into question.
According to the World Steel Association, the industry is responsible for between seven and nine per cent of the global emissions created from the burning of fossil fuels.
With the Paris Agreement setting out global goals to dramatically reduce carbon pollution and limit warming to less than two degrees by 2050, the steel sector is, for many, next up in the push to rethink age-old industries.
Source : https://thenarwhal.ca/