Mike Robinson.- Decarbonization of aluminum smelting processes. Sustainable aluminum solutions provider Novelis has been awarded £4.6m to test hydrogen combustion instead of natural gas at its Latchford plant in the UK. The project is part of the British Government’s Industrial Fuel Switching Competition program for the amount of 55 million pounds, integrated under the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) and the HyNet regional project.
Since joining the HyNet project in 2017, Novelis has conducted its own technical feasibility studies on the use of hydrogen as a direct replacement for natural gas.
The grant, awarded by the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero, will see the Latchford plant test the use of hydrogen in one of its recycling furnaces in a demonstration phase that is scheduled to begin in 2024. The tests, set in A partnership with UK-based power company Progressive Energy sees new burners and regenerators capable of operating on hydrogen or a mixture of hydrogen and gas, to be installed together with a new furnace lining material suitable for use with hydrogen.
Decarbonization of aluminum smelting processes
It is estimated that replacing natural gas with hydrogen to power the smelting furnace could reduce CO2 equivalent emissions by up to 90% compared to using the same amount of natural gas.
“Switching to renewable energy sources is a key initiative to advance our journey towards carbon neutral production,” said Emilio Braghi, Executive Vice President of Novelis and President of Novelis Europe. “As well as decarbonising our own facilities, this collaboration drives industrial decarbonisation across the UK North West region.”
“We are proud to be one of the pioneers in the use of hydrogen within the aluminum industry and that these trials at Latchford further advance research into the feasibility of integrating hydrogen power into our recycling operations around the world.” said Allan Sweeney, plant manager at Novelis in Latchford.
“Decarbonization of aluminum smelting processes at our plant is a critical lever to achieve our sustainability goals of reducing our carbon footprint by 30% by 2026 and being carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner,” said Suzanne Lindsay- Walker, vice president of sustainability at Novelis.
Novelis operates an integrated network of lamination and recycling facilities in North America, South America, Europe and Asia. In its commitment to sustainability, the company sees tremendous opportunities in continuing to expand the use of infinitely recyclable, lightweight aluminum to help its customers achieve their sustainability goals and provide consumers with eco-friendly products.
Novelis is a subsidiary of Hindalco Industries Limited, a leader in the aluminum, copper and metals industry; and a flagship company of the Aditya Birla Group based in Mumbai, India.
Operation with hydrogen allows greater energy efficiency in industrial facilities and a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere, since it only emits water steam. Hydrogen is considered clean energy and has a higher calorific value than natural gas, diesel or other fuels used.
Soluciones Integrales de Combustión is an engineering company and provider of Energy Services specialized in the supply, installation, start-up and commissioning, maintenance and repair of all the elements that make up thermal power plants. The company has its own technical start-up service made up of technicians in charge of installing the equipment and starting it up.
- On 11/07/2023