Atlanta’s rolled aluminium firm Novelis announced this week that its Latchford aluminium recycling plant in the United Kingdom is the recipient of a £4.6 million grant to begin hydrogen burning trials as part of the country’s £55m Industrial Fuel Switching Competition, which is a facet of the larger £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) as well as the regional HyNet project.
Novelis has been a member of HyNet for six years and has contributed to the project alongside enhancing its own studies of using hydrogen in place of natural gas.
Emilio Braghi, Executive Vice President, Novelis Inc. and President, Novelis Europe, said in a press release that the grant will aid it in making further progress in its conversion away from non-sustainable fuels.
“Switching to renewable energy sources is a key initiative to advance on our journey toward carbon-neutral production. Besides decarbonizing our own facility, this collaboration drives the industrial decarbonization of the whole North-West region in UK.”
Allan Sweeney, Plant Manager, Novelis Latchford, noted the importance of the trials to the firm’s wider aims.
“We are proud to be one of the pioneers using hydrogen within the aluminium industry and that these trials at Latchford will additionally advance research on the viability of integrating hydrogen power in our recycling operations around the world.”
Trials of hydrogen as a fuel is being carried out in cooperation with independent UK energy company Progressive Energy and will involve replacing new burners and generators capable of utilizing hydrogen alone or a blend of hydrogen and natural gas.
Suzanne Lindsay-Walker, Vice President, Sustainability, Novelis Inc, said that the project is another step down the road to carbon neutrality.
“Decarbonizing our melting processes is a critical lever to achieving our sustainability goals of reducing our carbon footprint by 30% by 2026 and being carbon neutral by 2050 or sooner.”
The firm says replacing natural gas with hydrogen could cut CO2eq emissions by up to 90 percent upon installation and commissioning.