Sunday Feb 05, 2023

Why heavy industries in EU have little choice but to forge ahead with green hydrogen

Heavy industries around the world have begun harnessing hydrogen to reduce its carbon footprint. ArcelorMittal the world’s second largest steelmaker tested the use of green hydrogen to reduce iron ore in Canada successfully. Green hydrogen was used instead of natural gas. Steel industry is highly carbon intensive and it accounts for 7% to 9% of direct emissions from fossil fuels.

This October, the first electric truck made out of green steel was unveiled by Volvo. Weighing 8 tones and to be used in mines and quarries was made with green hydrogen. To achieve global net zero emission targets steel manufacturers need to reduce their carbon emissions by half by 2050. Scientists and researchers from EDF, University College London and Materials processing Institute are collaborating with British steel to help the steel industry achieve this goal.

Even cement and petrochemical industry need to utilize more green hydrogen to cut their carbon emissions. For instance, cement manufacturer Hansen in UK is replacing natural gas with green hydrogen in burners at its plant in Port Talbot. Ineos, the chemical company also plans to use green hydrogen and producing it through electrolysis of water. Producing green hydrogen needs deep thinking from policy makers and government agencies to start developing and investing in green power grids and infrastructure. Commitment of 55 % reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 is agreed by all EU nations despite all the financial, regulatory and infrastructure challenges.

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