Landmark melting at voestalpine site in Donawitz

voestalpine has produced the world’s first high-quality “green” wire rod from hydrogen-reduced pure iron and scrap at its site in Donawitz. The hydrogen-reduced pure iron was produced in the Hyfor pilot plant.

The melting was carried out in the Group’s own Technikum Metallurgie research facility, a unique small but complete steel plant. The CO2-reduced steel was further processed in the wire rod mill to produce roller-bearing steel, which is characterized by its particular hardness and wear resistance. The production of high-quality, CO2-reduced steel grades is one of the biggest technological challenges in the transition to green steel production.

“We have already made a successful start on our path to green steel production and are advancing quickly with construction of the two arc furnaces powered by green electricity in Linz and Donawitz. Parallel to this, we are researching various breakthrough technologies with partners from industry and science. The first-ever melting of hydrogen-reduced pure iron and its further processing into high-quality wire rod is a historic milestone,” says Herbert Eibensteiner, CEO of voestalpine AG.

Hyfor is a joint research project of Primetals Technologies, voestalpine, Montanuniversität Leoben and K1-MET, with the goal of researching the use of hydrogen to reduce fine iron ore. In the future, the resulting hot sponge iron could be melted down in an electric arc furnace or used to produce hot briquetted iron (HBI).

“The Technikum Metallurgie provides us with an ideal test environment to quickly adapt our steels to the needs of our customers and to changed market requirements. I am very pleased that we are now also doing pioneering work in green steel production and would like to thank all the researchers and employees for their commitment,” says Franz Kainersdorfer, Head of the Metal Engineering Division and Member of the Management Board of voestalpine AG.

At the Technikum Metallurgie, voestalpine is conducting research into the production of new high-performance steels, for subsequent processing into special rails, high-quality wire rod, and heavy-duty oil field pipes. The product development involves a CO2-reduced route: the input material is melted using electricity from renewable energy sources.

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Green Steel World Editorial Team

Green Steel World Editorial Team

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