Decarbonizing Heavy Industry: The Hydrogen Advantage



The industrial sector plays a crucial role in our global economy, providing the goods and materials that power our daily lives. However, it is also a significant contributor to carbon emissions, making it a prime target for decarbonisation efforts. In pursuing a cleaner and more sustainable future, hydrogen technology is emerging as a powerful ally.

In this article, we'll explore how Hydrogenera is at the forefront of decarbonising heavy industry through the innovative use of hydrogen.

The Heavy Industry Challenge

Heavy industries, comprising sectors like steel, cement, and chemicals, play a pivotal role in the global economy. However, they also pose a significant environmental challenge as they contribute extensively to greenhouse gas emissions. In confronting the threat of climate change, addressing the emissions from heavy industries becomes imperative.

The heavy industry sector is a significant emitter of carbon dioxide (CO2), a primary greenhouse gas responsible for trapping heat in the Earth's atmosphere.

Steel production, for instance, is a notable contributor, generating substantial CO2 emissions through the combustion of fossil fuels for energy and the chemical transformation of raw materials into steel.

Cement manufacturing is another culprit, releasing CO2 during the chemical process of converting limestone into clinker.

Chemical industries producing plastics, fertilisers, and other essential materials also add to the emissions burden. The extraction and processing of raw materials and energy-intensive manufacturing processes collectively contribute to the sector's environmental footprint.

The complexity of the challenge lies in the intricate web of processes, technologies, and global supply chains that sustain heavy industries.

Unlike some other sectors, the heavy industry cannot quickly shift to renewable energy sources or embrace alternative technologies due to the specific requirements of its manufacturing processes.
The Urgency of Action
Addressing emissions from heavy industries becomes paramount as the global community grapples with the urgency of mitigating climate change. The consequences of inaction are dire—accelerated global warming, rising sea levels, extreme weather events, and ecosystem disruptions.

It is no longer a question of whether to act but how swiftly and effectively industries can transition towards more sustainable practices.

Governments, businesses, and environmentalists worldwide seek innovative solutions to decarbonise heavy industries without compromising economic viability.

One promising avenue is harnessing the power of hydrogen—a versatile, clean energy carrier with the potential to revolutionise the way heavy industries operate.

Hydrogen: A Game-Changer for Heavy Industries

Hydrogen becomes a green fuel with zero carbon emissions when produced using renewable energy sources through electrolysis. This clean energy carrier offers a compelling solution for heavy industries looking to decarbonise their operations.

Unlike traditional fossil fuels, hydrogen combustion produces only water vapour as a byproduct, eliminating the release of harmful greenhouse gases.
The Rise of Green Hydrogen
Green hydrogen is produced through electrolysis, where water is split into hydrogen and oxygen using electricity, typically generated from renewable sources such as solar, wind, or hydropower.

Unlike conventional hydrogen production methods, which often rely on fossil fuels and emit greenhouse gases, green hydrogen is a zero-emission fuel.
The versatility of Hydrogen
One of the key advantages of hydrogen lies in its versatility, serving not only as a fuel for various industrial applications but also as a crucial feedstock. It finds application in diverse sectors such as manufacturing, refining, and chemical production, playing a vital role in processes like those in refineries and the production of fertilisers.

Industries such as steel, cement, and chemicals traditionally rely on carbon-intensive processes and can now consider transitioning to hydrogen-based solutions.
Reducing Carbon Footprint
Heavy industries can significantly reduce their carbon footprint by replacing traditional fossil fuels with green hydrogen.

The combustion of hydrogen produces only water vapour and heat, eliminating the release of harmful pollutants and greenhouse gases. This shift towards cleaner energy sources aligns with global efforts to combat climate change and achieve carbon neutrality.
Energy Storage and Transportation
Hydrogen also plays a crucial role in energy storage and transportation. Excess renewable energy generated during periods of low demand can be used to produce hydrogen through electrolysis. This hydrogen can then be stored and used later when energy demand is high, acting as a reliable and efficient energy storage solution.

Additionally, hydrogen can be transported over long distances, providing a viable solution for regions needing direct access to renewable energy sources.

Hydrogen Applications in Heavy Industry

Several promising applications of hydrogen in heavy industry are gaining traction:

  • Steelmaking: Hydrogen can replace coal by directly reducing iron ore, a crucial step in steelmaking. This process, called Direct Reduced Iron (DRI), produces steel with a lower carbon footprint than traditional methods.
  • Cement production: Hydrogen holds the potential to replace fossil fuels in clinkerization, a crucial stage in cement manufacturing. This shift is particularly noteworthy as clinker production currently contributes significantly to the cement industry's carbon emissions. Furthermore, combining hydrogen with Carbon Capture and Storage (CCS) allows for the production of synthetic fuels.
  • Chemical production: Hydrogen can be used as a feedstock for producing various chemicals, such as ammonia and methanol. Ammonia is a crucial ingredient in fertilisers, while methanol can be used as a fuel or a chemical feedstock.

Refining: Hydrogen can be employed to upgrade low-value hydrocarbons into clean fuels, reducing the reliance on fossil fuels in the refining process. This process, known as hydrogenation, can produce cleaner transportation fuels, such as synthetic gasoline and diesel.

Hydrogenera's Technological Solutions

Hydrogenera is at the forefront of providing innovative hydrogen solutions for heavy industry. We develop advanced hydrogen technologies that can be integrated into industrial processes, significantly reducing carbon emissions.

Hydrogenera is helping to reshape the future of manufacturing and heavy industry through partnerships with key industrial players.

At the forefront of the hydrogen revolution, we offer cutting-edge hydrogen technology solutions to address heavy industries' emissions challenges. The AEM Z Modular turn-key hydrogen solutions are particularly noteworthy, presenting a comprehensive approach to hydrogen production focusing on efficiency and environmental impact.

Efficient Hydrogen Production

Hydrogenera's AEM Z 1 MW systems, encapsulated in containerised modules, boast a remarkable hydrogen purity of up to 99.999%. With a cell stack power consumption as low as 3.6 kWh/Nm3 of hydrogen gas produced, these systems are efficient and significantly reduce carbon emissions.

The 1 MW systems can produce 200m3/h of hydrogen or 436 kg per day, making them a scalable solution for diverse industrial applications.

Modular Concept for Customization

Hydrogenera's modular concept sets it apart, allowing for delivering customised solutions tailored to specific applications, configurations, and sizes. This versatility ensures that industries can seamlessly integrate hydrogen technology into their existing processes, promoting a smoother transition towards sustainability.

Wide Range of Applications

Hydrogenera's hydrogen solutions find application across various sectors, including power and heating, industry, storage, transport, and renewable energy sources (RES).

The AEM Z series is adaptable to different combustion processes, making it suitable for a wide range of industrial applications, from reducing harmful emissions in power and heating to achieving economic efficiency in agriculture.

Environmental Impact and Efficiency

The AEM Z series is not just about efficiency; it's about making a positive environmental impact. The modular electronic control, designed in-house without pre-made solutions, ensures a high-efficiency level with electrolysis efficiency exceeding 85%.

This efficiency holds, regardless of load or electricity consumption alterations, making it a reliable and stable solution for industries aiming to decarbonise.

Tailoring Solutions for Sustainability

Hydrogenera's commitment to tailoring each delivery to the unique needs of businesses demonstrates an individualised approach to sustainability.

With its customised solutions, the AEM series offers dramatic reductions in harmful emissions and significant economic advantages for industries seeking to minimise their carbon footprint.

Embark on a Sustainable Future with Hydrogenera

Decarbonising heavy industry is a complex and urgent task, and hydrogen technology is proving to be a game-changer.

Hydrogenera's commitment to innovation and sustainability addresses the environmental challenges and drives economic growth and technological advancement in heavy industry.

Hydrogenera's pioneering work in decarbonising heavy industry through hydrogen technology is a beacon of hope as we look to a future with reduced carbon emissions and a more sustainable industrial landscape.

Contact us today to embark on a sustainable and prosperous future. Together, we can revolutionise industrial processes, reduce our carbon footprint, and create a cleaner and healthier planet for future generations.