World’s largest high-temperature facility commences trial operation in Salzgitter

10.12.2020 | Salzgitter AG

As part of the GrInHy2.0 research project, funded by FCH, Salzgitter Flachstahl GmbH has installed the world’s largest high-temperature electrolyzer. Generating a nominal output of 720 kWel, the facility is capable of producing 200 Nm³ of hydrogen an hour. SZFG plans to use this hydrogen for its annealing processes as a replacement for hydrogen produced from natural gas. At a later stage, the direct reduced iron (DRI) plant is also to be supplied. As part of our SALCOS (Salzgitter Low CO2-Steelmaking) technology concept, this plant will become operational in the first half of 2022.
Wednesday, December 9, 2020 marks the date when the facility fed high-purity hydrogen into our plant’s own grid for the first time, marking a significant work schedule milestone of the GrInHy2.0 project.
The project itself was launched back in January 2019. The design, engineering and construction of the prototype plant were executed in close cooperation with Sunfire, Paul Wurth and Salzgitter Flachstahl as key partners – and Salzgitter Mannesmann Forschung coordinating the project. In parallel with the construction of the electrolyzer and the hydrogen conditioning plant, SZFG expanded the necessary infrastructure. By comparison with the GrInHy predecessor project, the plant as it now stands consists of an electrolyzer that is five times as powerful and needs less than double the space. Consequently, the technology’s output density has been trebled!
The next goals are now of an operational nature: During the upcoming two years the system is to be operated for at least 13,000 hours and provide proof of plant availability in excess of 95%. Over this period, the electrolyzer is required to produce a minimum of 100 tons of green hydrogen and produce evidence of an electrical efficiency (without density) exceeding 84% LHV (Lower Heating Value).