Scientists finally give the world its first ‘green steel’

Fareeha Arshad

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Researchers finally uncover the secret formula to ‘green steel’ – the world’s first carbon-free steel, which was delivered to the Volvo truck maker in Sweden. This Volvo Company now aims to develop vehicles based on green steel. Researchers believe that green steel will be an excellent alternative for developing fossil-free steel products for applications in manufacturing an extensive line of products.

This green steel was developed using the hydrogen breakthrough iron-making technology – the first time renewable hydrogen technology was used to develop the green steel in the Swedish city of Lulea. With the development of environmentally friendly steel and its derivatives, researchers hope to reduce global carbon emissions. Also, scientists are hopeful of decreasing the carbon footprint that has emerged due to the steel industry across the different countries.

Steel is one of the materials that are rampantly used and has unlimited applications in our day to day lives – on our dining table, in our kitchens, in our bedrooms, offices – steel is everywhere. However, with the massive demand for steel, significant energy is also required to produce it.

Usually, over two tons of carbon dioxide is used to develop just one ton of steel. In addition, about seven per cent of the greenhouse gas emissions globally each year come from steel manufacturing. Scientists believe that by 2050, this rate will only increase, which will contribute significantly to global warming and have adverse effects on the environment.

Though steel produced can be recycled, the process still requires a large amount of energy. Presently, the blast furnaces in steel manufacturing and processing industries make the use of coal as their fuel. However, with the incorporation of hydrogen as the energy source, we can significantly cut down carbon dioxide emissions.

This process will be beneficial only when hydrogen is derived using green methods. Unfortunately, however, there are no inexpensive methods to derive environmental-friendly hydrogen. Thus, the cost is a significant barrier currently towards this promising venture.

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I am a scientist by profession and a historian by passion. I write about current affairs, history, science, and lifestyle.

Texas State
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