The Hybrit prototype plant in Lulea for the storage of fossil-free hydrogen gas is presently in use by SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall. The facility for storing fossil-free hydrogen gas in rock caverns is the first of its type in the whole globe. In order to establish the whole value chain for fossil-free iron and steel manufacturing, Hybrit has now begun the two-year test phase and will continue it until 2024.
Initial water-based pressure tests after the pilot facility's June opening validated the structure's mechanical stability, tightness, and pressure capacity. After then, hydrogen gas was pumped into the storage facility until it even exceeded its maximum working pressure of 250 bar. The storage facility operates as intended and complies with all safety regulations, as demonstrated by the commissioning of the pilot facility at Svartoberget.
A sealing layer is used to coat the cavern walls of an underground lined rock cavern (LRC) in order to store gas there. The pilot plant in Lulea is the first in the world to test the technology with repeated filling and emptying of hydrogen gas, while LRCs have been fully tested with natural gas.
The trial facility is 100 cubic meters in capacity, and a full-scale storage facility for 100,000 to 120,000 cubic meters of compressed hydrogen gas may eventually be required. This implies that we have the capacity to store up to 100 GWh of electricity in the form of hydrogen gas, which would last for around three to four days to power a full-scale sponge iron mill.
The three owners, SSAB, LKAB, and Vattenfall, launched the Hybrit venture in 2016. The hydrogen storage facility will be a key component of the whole value chain for the manufacture of iron and steel without the use of fossil fuels. Production of sponge iron, the primary component of fossil-free steel, will be ensured by creating fossil-free hydrogen gas when there is a lot of power, such as when it is extremely windy, and using stored hydrogen gas when the electrical grid is stressed.
The materials and information on this article have been prepared or assembled by Viet Nam Steel and are intended for informational purposes only