Innovation That Matters

The hydrogen demonstration unit | Photo source Hanson UK

Hydrogen-powered cement production to reduce carbon emissions

Property & Construction

A new hydrogen demonstration unit generates green hydrogen through renewable energy

Spotted: In the UK, cement is the source for 1.5 per cent of CO2 emissions, with the number predicted to rise by a quarter by 2030. With these increasing numbers in mind, cement producer Hanson UK have been working with researchers at the Energy Safety Research Institute at Swansea University to develop a new hydrogen demonstration unit. The unit generates green hydrogen through renewable energy and has been installed at the company’s Regen Ground Granulated Blast Furnace Slag (GGBS) plant in Port Talbot in south Wales. Hanson’s aim is to replace some of the natural gas that is used to power the plant with green hydrogen, a cleaner source of energy that only emits water when burned.

The main component of Portland cement is clinker, the production of which is energy-intensive due to the high temperatures required. Hanson’s Port Talbot plant produces Regen GGBS, which is used as a replacement for up to 80 per cent of the cement in concrete and has a carbon footprint that is one-tenth of Portland cement. The demonstration unit produces hydrogen through electrolysis. This process generates renewable energy through wind and solar on-site, where they are then directed into the electrolyser or water splitting device, to be split into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen is then passed into the burner to enrich the combustion mixture, ultimately preventing carbon emissions from being produced out of the burning of natural gas.

Hanson UK has set a target to reduce 50 per cent of their CO2 emissions by 2030.

Written By: Serafina Basciano

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