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August, 1st 2021

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JUN 17
11:43

US Steel explores hydrogen, electric vehicle opportunities

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US Steel plans to contribute to global decarbonisation - both in and out of steel - by engaging with the nascent hydrogen and electric vehicle industries, Kallanish learns from the company’s recently released 2020 sustainability report. 

Though the company has made big strides toward electric arc furnace steelmaking in the past year - notably by acquiring Arkansas’ Big River Steel - it is also exploring options for using hydrogen as a feedstock in its legacy operations. 

“Ongoing work with industrial and academic partners has led to advances in materials for safely transporting and storing hydrogen, which could deliver tremendous benefits as an alternative fuel source,” the company says. “Hydrogen power could yield dramatic improvements in steelmaking energy efficiency and also could be used to power vehicles and devices.”

US Steel had already been active in producing next-gen advanced high-strength steels for the auto industry to assist in lightweighting. 

Now, it’s tailoring those advanced steels to support auto’s push toward pure battery electric vehicles. Lightweighting remains an important issue. While electric cars do not produce emissions, a lower overall vehicle body weight can greatly increase range.

“The challenge facing electrification of the passenger car fleet lies in extending the driving range to be competitive with IC (internal combustion) engines. Automakers are making plans to increase the number of electrified vehicles and platforms and are meeting the challenges of extended range through mass reduction, motor efficiency, battery improvements, and introduction of newer energy solutions such as hydrogen fuel cells,” US Steel says. “In 2020, US Steel worked closely with several auto manufacturers and original equipment manufacturers to provide steel grades that help them build the newest, most advanced battery-electric vehicle architectures. Our AHSS and XG3 grades are being used to help minimise vehicle weight while protecting the occupants (and batteries) from effects of a crash.”

Dan Hilliard USA