Hanson UK launches green hydrogen power unit

Hanson UK launches green hydrogen power unit
11 February 2021

A new green hydrogen power demonstration unit has been developed and installed at Hanson UK's Regen ground granulated blastfurnace slag (GGBS) plant in Port Talbot, south Wales.This is part of the company's GBP9.2m 'Reducing Industrial Carbon Emissions' (RICE) project, funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

The aim of the demonstration unit is to replace some of the natural gas used to power the plant with green hydrogen, which is considered a clean source of energy as it only emits water when burned, reducing CO2 emissions. 

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. Although Regen is also an energy-intensive product, using large amounts of natural gas and electricity, its carbon footprint is about one tenth that of Portland cement.

The Port Talbot demonstration unit produces hydrogen through the process of electrolysis, where renewable energy is generated through wind and solar on site and directed into the electrolyser or water splitting device. The electrolyser can use this energy to split water into hydrogen and oxygen and the hydrogen is then passed into the burner to enrich the combustion mixture, saving carbon emissions from the burning of natural gas. 

Marian Garfield, head of sustainability at Hanson UK, said: "With demand for cement replacement products predicted to increase by a quarter by 2030, researchers and industry are working hard to reduce the level of carbon emissions associated with production."

"In the UK we have already achieved a 30 per cent reduction in CO2 emissions since 1990 across the business and have set an ambitious new target of a 50 per cent reduction by 2030 from the same baseline. We are constantly looking to improve energy efficiency and carbon reduction at our cement and Regen plants, so we are delighted to be involved with this innovative research project."

Published under Cement News