German copper manufacturer Aurubis started testing hydrogen use on an industrial scale for copper anode production at its Hamburg plant today.
Under this process, hydrogen and nitrogen were used as a replacement for natural gas to produce copper anodes.
These initial tests will determine the facility’s reaction to hydrogen and ensure the efficient running of production, Aurubis said in a statement on Thursday.
If successful, the firm plans to replace fossil fuels with hydrogen for copper production in the medium term, leading to more climate-friendly production. Aurubis expects the use of hydrogen to also improve its output efficiencies. Air Liquide, the company’s long-term partner, will provide the hydrogen for the tests.
These extensive tests are expected to last until late summer, and if successful the company will begin industrial-scale production using this gas.
Using hydrogen on an industrial scale generates water vapor as a by-product lending to the continent’s carbon-neutral goals. Doctor Jens Jacobsen, plant manager, stated that the savings potential for the Hamburg smelter in this area alone amounts to 5625mt of CO2 annually and that the use of hydrogen will significantly reduce carbon emissions.