Hybrit labs

HYBRIT lab at Swerim ready for trials

9 February, 2021

The level of activity is high right now. In March we will be ready for the first trials in the new, custom-designed HYBRIT lab at metals research institute Swerim. The aim is to hasten the journey towards fossil-free steel production.

A partnership between HYBRIT and Swerim has resulted in a new laboratory in Kista, Sweden, designed by a research group that will focus on, among other investigations, reduction studies with hydrogen. Leading the group is Johan Martinsson, who informs us that the laboratory is well on track, despite a few delays in deliveries from suppliers, owing to the pandemic.

"All of the equipment will soon be in place and we will be ready to run experiments within a few weeks," says Johan Martinsson. He supervises four doctoral students, three of whom have previously been involved in research related to HYBRIT at KTH (the Royal Institute of Technology).

The equipment has been specially designed and built by the research group, and Johan Martinsson describes how the group has worked in close dialogue with HYBRIT. And so the work will continue, with flexibility and attentiveness being the watchword for the partnership, the overall aim of which is to reduce the carbon-dioxide footprint through the use of technology for fossil-free steel production.

"Without going into the specifics of our experiments, our work concerns process optimization of fossil-free iron and steelmaking. We are going to zoom in on the details, isolate the parameters and study the mechanisms that control the process, rather than trying to imitate actual industrial-scale iron and steel production. This has to do not only with reduction of iron ore with hydrogen, but also the subsequent steel production process.

The research group has brought with them the tradition of naming equipment from KTH to Swerim.

"For example, at KTH we had two pieces of equipment that we called "Baby Blue" and "Maj-Britt". The latter, Maj-Britt, built specifically for HYBRIT, rhymes rather aptly with the English pronunciation of the name of the initiative. Our equipment at Swerim has not yet been named, but it will be. This is quite appropriate, considering the close working relationship we will have with the equipment over the coming years," concludes Johan Martinsson.


Photo: From left: Johan Martinsson (group manager), Julia Brännberg Fogelström, Amanda Vickerfält, Oscar Hessling and Joar Huss.


HYBRIT is developing the technology and value chain for hydrogen-based iron and steel production for a fossil-free future. Development work is aided by funding from the Swedish Energy Agency, and practical experimentation is conducted in laboratory scale and in pilot plants that are built or modified for the purpose.

The HYBRIT initiative is a collaboration between SSABLKAB and Vattenfall, with funding from the Swedish Energy Agency.


Metals research institute Swerim conducts needs-based industrial research and development concerning metals and their route from raw materials to finished products. We wish to strengthen industrial competitiveness by enabling improved product quality, greater resource efficiency and more