Salzgitter AG and the electrolysis manufacturer Sunfire completed the EU-funded GrInHy2.0 (Green Industrial Hydrogen) project, producing 100 tonnes of green hydrogen for green steel production.
Green hydrogen is key to climate protection and the decarbonization of industries. In the steel industry, pioneers such as Salzgitter AG are introducing innovative technologies with SALCOS – Salzgitter Low CO2 Steelmaking – to use the future gas for climate-neutral steel production. With GrInHy2.0, Salzgitter AG continued its successful cooperation with Sunfire to integrate novel electrolysis technologies for hydrogen production in an industrial environment.
Since 2019, the project partners have been operating a high-temperature electrolyzer from Sunfire with a connected electrical load of 720 kW on the premises of Salzgitter Flachstahl – the plant is considered the world’s largest and most efficient of its kind.
The green hydrogen produced is fed directly into the hydrogen grid of Salzgitter Flachstahl – to date, almost 100 tons of the gas have been used in annealing processes and galvanizing plants for steel finishing. The partnership between Sunfire and Salzgitter AG is to continue beyond GrInHy2.0.
At the beginning of the year, the Sunfire electrolyzer set new efficiency standards: For the first time, the project partners could demonstrate an electrical efficiency of 84 %el, LHV – this corresponds to an energy requirement of only 39.7 kWh/kgH2. In addition, the system produced up to 200 Nm3 (standard cubic meters) of green hydrogen per hour. No other operator has previously been able to demonstrate such high numbers.
The electrolyzer is based on the innovative SOEC technology (solid oxide electrolysis cell) and runs at operating temperatures of 850 °C. The system utilizes industrial waste heat and renewable electricity to split steam into its components, hydrogen and oxygen.
In addition to Salzgitter Flachstahl, Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung and Sunfire, the SMS Group company Paul Wurth, Tenova and the French research institution CEA are also part of the project.
Dr. Alexander Redenius, from the Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung, said, “GrInHy2.0 is an important part of our SALCOS project for CO2-reduced steel production.”
Christian von Olshausen, Sunfire CTO, said, “Projects like this lay the foundation for rapidly scaling electrolysis technologies worldwide.”