The £26 million Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator Programme provides funding for innovation projects that can demonstrate end-to-end industrial fuel switching to hydrogen. Stream 2A, now closed, provides up to £400,000 for feasibility studies to develop the project concept further. BEIS has awarded around £2.95 million in funding across 9 projects, as outlined below.
Project name: OISH – Hydrogen from steelmaking waste as green fuel for steel production
A feasibility study for the integration of a new metal-rich waste treatment process with the use of the co-produced hydrogen in steel manufacturing at the same site. Nanomox Oxidative Ionothermal Synthesis (OIS) uses green catalytic solvents at low temperatures to complete the direct oxidation of metals, offering enormous energy efficiency improvements over existing technologies. This patent pending process can treat metal-containing wastes, prevent landfills, reduce reliance on energy intensive pyrometallurgical processes and co-produce significant volumes of hydrogen during operation. Wastes from the steelmaking process will be converted into saleable materials for industrial use (for example, zinc oxide) while the hydrogen produced is used as fuel on plant. Zinc/iron rich sludge is a legacy issue in the UK with approximately 6.7 million tonnes currently stockpiled, while 90,000 tonnes continue to be produced annually.
Stream 2A experimental work will be performed to gather the data needed for a detailed assessment, such as measurement of hydrogen production rates and quality, and optimization of process conditions. This will be followed by a process design to determine the OPEX/CAPEX for capture, buffer storage and use on the same site. The work leads to a proposal for Stream 2B to begin onsite at the Materials Processing Institute steelmaking pilot works where there is an OIS zinc removal pilot plant, and facility for oxyhydrogen combustion and testing in 400 kW burners. It would then scale up to repeat waste sludge treatment and the use of hydrogen at 1.2 MW scale within an operational steel plant Successful outcomes will reduce CO2 emissions of steel manufacturing whilst improving profitability and environmental credentials, and the combination of mandated remediation of ongoing and legacy steelmaking waste, plus direct use of the coproduced hydrogen offer a double benefit with significant cost and energy efficiencies. Visit nanomox.net/oish-project for more information.
EDF Energy R&D UK Centre Ltd
Project name: Bay Hydrogen Hub – Hydrogen4Hanson
The ‘Bay Hydrogen Hub – Hydrogen4Hanson’ project is a key stepping-stone towards the decarbonisation of the asphalt and cement industry, developing nuclear hydrogen production and investigating technologies to deliver hydrogen to dispersed industrial sites. Our consortium vision is to demonstrate solid oxide electrolysis (SOEC) integrated with nuclear heat and electricity, providing low carbon, low cost hydrogen via novel, next generation composite storage tankers to dispersed asphalt and cement sites in the wider locality of Heysham nuclear power station. Coupling SOEC with nuclear heat and electricity has the potential to increase hydrogen production efficiency by >20% vs incumbent technologies and this would be one of the first SOEC nuclear demonstrations in the world. The use of hydrogen as a fuel at asphalt sites has the potential for drastic carbon reduction, supporting the UK’s net zero mission and ensuring that the UK continues leading the way in the cement and asphalt industries.
The project brings together leading collaborators across the energy and hydrogen value chain, and will accelerate technology development and industry decarbonisation through the application of hydrogen as a fuel. The project underpins the development of a Bay Hydrogen Hub and the use of hydrogen to decarbonise multiple Hanson asphalt and cement sites in the UK, with learnings that could be leveraged to >250 sites and disseminated across the mineral products industry.
ASH Waste Services Ltd
Project name: Small-scale hydrogen production utilising a waste company’s SRF feedstock to power its industrial plant and equipment
The hydrogen sector has reached a pre-commercialisation stage and is set to be a major player in decarbonising our economies. ASH Waste Services and its consortium partners wish to play a part and help support the UK’s drive to Net-Zero. This feasibility study brings together proven technology and expertise in waste recycling and fuel preparation, ASH Waste Services, gasification/gasifier processes, Compact Syngas Solutions, and hydrogen storage experts Pure Energy Centre.
This project aims to demonstrate an end-to-end solution that is technically and economically feasible to produce low carbon hydrogen efficiently and reliably at MW-scale, utilising SRF feedstock via gasification, and identify and review waste sector industrial processes/equipment for hydrogen alternatives with the aim of switching over 50% of its current equipment to hydrogen. Therefore, creating a significant reduction in its carbon footprint with the utilisation of hydrogen to run industrial processes/equipment that currently rely on diesel or electricity.
The key benefit of the proposed solutions is to reduce the production of carbon across the value chain, from reduced waste to landfill, transportation costs, and the production of hydrogen via the proposed process produces less CO2 and NOx per kg of H2 produced.
Project name: Investigating the use of Hydrogen in stone wool insulation manufacturing
Stone wool insulation manufacturing processes use natural gas to input and maintain heat in combustion systems and curing ovens. ROCKWOOL proposes to investigate the design and costs associated with conversion of up to 7 MW of natural gas heaters to be fuelled with green hydrogen, including electrolytic hydrogen production from local wind and solar renewable power in Bridgend, to support demonstration of end to end industrial fuel switching to hydrogen.
The project will consider necessary design and control requirements to safely and effectively operate the process plant under 100% hydrogen fuelling as a substitute for natural gas for a single production line, which could be replicated across 2 other production lines. Hybrid approaches utilising both natural gas and hydrogen fuelling within combustion systems and curing ovens will also be considered, which may facilitate early operation and transition ahead of increased hydrogen supply. The scope will include assessment of facility modifications, electrolytic hydrogen production, storage, transport, and power supply, together with associated costs to enable this end to end industrial fuel switch to hydrogen.
A financial evaluation will outline potential costs and benefits operationally and environmentally. The project aims to deliver a fully costed implementation proposal suitable to progress to a Stream 2B demonstration project.
HiiROC-X Developments LTD
Project name: Decarbonising JLR automotive paint operations with Thermal Plasma Electrolysis
HiiROC and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) intend to research the technical and commercial feasibility of Thermal Plasma Electrolysis (TPE) to produce hydrogen and mitigate the emissions created from industrial paint shop / coatings processes. Paint and coating processes create waste gases which are currently thermally oxidised before being safely emitted to atmosphere in compliance with environmental legislation– however, this releases carbon dioxide.
This project uses HiiROC’s innovative TPE process to convert the waste gas to decarbonised hydrogen and solid, easily transportable carbon black. The hydrogen will be reused to heat the ‘bake’ ovens, a key part of the automotive paint curing process, thus reducing natural gas demands.
The ‘green’, low carbon form of Carbon Black could be sold to displace the current carbon intensive sources on the market produced by burning fossil fuels and used to make UV resistant plastics and rubbers, including car tyres.
The project is conceived in 2 phases:
Phase A is a study to confirm the design of how the TPE process will be integrated into JLR’s existing painting and coating operations. This will confirm how many TPE units are required and how much hydrogen will be produced.
Phase B is a demonstration retrofit of 13 TPE units that will ideally test TPE operation in both highlyintermittent painting and coating operations and in the more consistently operated main production painting operations. This will give valuable data about the economics and efficacy of these different types of deployment, which together are widely applicable to both small scale and industrial paint processes across the UK.
Centre for Process Innovation (CPI)
Project name: End-to-end system for generation and use of green hydrogen for fuel switching in ceramics manufacturing (PRO- GREEN H2)
Government decarbonisation targets require the whole ceramics sector to develop a radical and accelerated step change in operations. This means that multiple deep decarbonisation technology solutions will need to be developed, demonstrated, and deployed at pace. One such technology is the use of hydrogen as a fuel for kiln firing to replace natural gas. Currently the ceramics industry uses 3.8 terra watt hours of natural gas per year and produces approx. 1.2 million tonnes/year of CO2. Modelling studies carried out for the Department of Energy & Climate Change and BEIS suggested that emissions could be reduced by up to 60%, compared to 2012, if technical options such as fuel switching are undertaken. Initial transition studies have been taking place in the use of hydrogen up to 20% in natural gas blends. However, it is expected that to meet the stringent decarbonisation targets, blends with a higher hydrogen composition, will be needed to be used by the ceramics and other foundation industries.
Within this PRO-GREEN H2 project we propose to develop an innovative green hydrogen production system to support fuel switching within the ceramics industry. Our proposed technology will produce green ammonia using renewable electricity sources and low energy feedstocks including seawater and nitrogen. The generated ammonia will then be converted to hydrogen which will then be utilised within the firing kilns within the ceramics industry. With seawater and nitrogen as feedstock, the proposed system can be located conveniently closer to the point of use, as there is no resource limitation thereby eliminating the need for expensive product transport network. Current production routes for green hydrogen, mainly through electrochemical process, are expensive and uncompetitive due to the limited efficiency of the state-of-the-art technologies. In addition, these technologies also use freshwater feedstock, and this could put pressure on available freshwater resources. To overcome these limitations in existing technologies, it is important to develop a new generation of green hydrogen production technology that is cost competitive, sustainable and efficient in material and energy use. Furthermore, it is essential to ascertain if it is both feasible and possible to switch to 100% hydrogen within the current production ceramic manufacturing kilns, and then subsequently determine the impact this has on the ceramic products being fired.
E.ON UK CHP Ltd
Project name: HYDESS Project (Hydrogen for the Decarbonisation of Sheffield Steel)
E.ON will lead this project, together with partners including large scale steel manufacturers based in the Sheffield area, to determine the feasibility of end to end hydrogen production, transport and end use in the steel manufacturing industry. End use would comprise switching natural gas to hydrogen for fuelling steel reheat and heat treatment furnaces, with a particular focus on technical design and testing to understand the impact on product quality and on forging and heating processes.
The proposed proof of concept demonstration project will provide hydrogen from renewable electricity, produced on site at E.ON’s Blackburn Meadows biomass power station (electrolysis via private wire),to local steel manufacturers to support a local circular economy whilst enabling these steel manufacturers to decarbonise in line with their sustainability strategy and the growing demand for green steel from their customers.
The demonstration project will cover the production, distribution and innovative use of hydrogen for different off takers. There is also consideration for innovation in the distribution of hydrogen gas, such as active monitoring of the high pressure hydrogen cylinders used in transportation to extend their operational life. The consortium is also keen to understand how the project can be scaled to increase the volume of hydrogen used, including a larger electrolyser and delivery via a pipeline, which could support additional off takers in the Sheffield region and increase the volume of hydrogen supplied to the consortium. If successful, the proposed project could be replicated at other sites across the UK.
Undercover Zero Research and Development Centre Limited
Project name: Zero Emissions Laundry – Z.E.L.
Value: £ 375,287.05
Undercover Zero and partner Steamology are delivering scalable and modular solutions for industrial steam heat and power, embracing the hydrogen economy, eliminating all emissions, replacing fossil fuels and fossil fuel engines.
Project name: H2Juice
This H2JUICE innovative solution aims to prove end to end industrial fuel switching to hydrogen with an integrated engineered solution providing production, transportation/storage and end use of low carbon hydrogen within a key industrial Welsh heartland. The feasibility study additionally investigates the ability to utilise different blends of hydrogen with natural gas enabling the transition to fuel switching and demonstration of system flexibility.
Feasibility aims to fix the design basis for a later entry for Stream 2B, FEED and subsequent demonstration. Hydrogen produced from sewage sludge at the DWCC Cardiff East Waste water Treatment Works will supply heat to the boilers of a nearby food & drink industry end user (Princes) to provide heat for juice pasteurisation. Storage capacity and blending/deblending facilities are also included to help maximise carbon reduction and process variability and will form part of the storage and transportation element of the scheme.
The scheme comprises of 4 key elements:
Hydrogen Production – Biogas is already produced from anaerobic digestion of sewage sludge at the wastewater treatment plant, this biogas is presently used to produce electricity but can be converted into hydrogen via methane reforming; carbon capture will be added to further reduce CO2 emissions. Production is considered as a renewable hydrogen source.
Delivery Infrastructure – A new dedicated pipeline between the wastewater treatment plant and the end user will transport the hydrogen. Storage and blending/deblending facilities ensure the end user heat requirements can be met reliably and with an optimised gas composition maximising carbon emission; any excess hydrogen will be routed to onsite storage. Provision will be made to simulate a smart hydrogen network as a small-scale representation of operating the grid at a 20% hydrogen blend but enriching for high use customers who can use a richer hydrogen blend with reinjection to maintain the overall 20% hydrogen to natural gas composition.
Fuel Switching – The primary aim of fuel switching is to reduce emissions by maximising the substitution of natural gas with hydrogen. Consideration will be given of existing installed hardware as well as a market survey and supplier engagement which will take place to determine best available technology to retrofit. A send user demands are variable, storage plus blending/deblending facilities will ensure that hydrogen supply meets demand.
Overall System Integration – Integration of all elements (production, delivery, use, storage, blending/deblending) will be considered along with existing infrastructure and any new supporting systems such as control, security, fire and water systems.