Here's a constellation that rarely happens: An industry whose demand for hydrogen is rising steadily meets a hydrogen specialist looking for industry partners. That is why SMS group became a strategic investor and technology partner in Sunfire GmbH in 2019.
Sunfire has developed an efficient process for high-temperature electrolysis. The difference from traditional electrolysis is that steam is used instead of liquid water, because it is split more efficiently into hydrogen and oxygen. As the steam can be generated from waste heat from industrial plants, this process is ideal for all steel mills. Compared with conventional electrolysis, the process can save 20 to 30 percent power and do so with significantly higher efficiency. Besides, Sunfire also offers the Alkaline electrolyzer technology which is proven and matured in many industrial references. The Alkaline electrolysis is especially dedicated to locations, where for instance waste heat is not easily available.
The strategic partnership is a foundation to integrate hydrogen production with the steel industry. It is a perfect example of the type of forward-looking approach that opens up integrated, state-of-the-art solutions for our customers. Our metallurgical expertise lays the foundation for sustainable progress in the complex world of metals, whilst opening up new opportunities for emission reduction.
The role of SMS group and Paul Wurth in this partnership is to support Sunfire in capacity building and technology development, and to cooperate in the implementation of complete turnkey projects. With over 150 years of experience, SMS group functions as an access provider to the global metals industry, which increasingly uses renewable hydrogen.