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Largest pilot plant for CO2-neutral production of hydrogen begins operation at voestalpine site in Linz

What is currently the world’s largest pilot plant for the CO2-neutral production of hydrogen has successfully commenced operation at the voestalpine site in Linz, simultaneously setting an international milestone in the advancement of new energy supply options.

As part of the EU-funded H2FUTURE project, partners voestalpine, VERBUND, Siemens, Austrian Power Grid, K1-MET and TNO are researching into the industrial production of green hydrogen as a means of replacing fossil fuels in steel production over the long term.

The global climate goals of almost completely eliminating CO2 emissions by 2050 pose challenges for industrial enterprises and energy suppliers, and demand new technological solutions in both sectors. In this context, CO2-neutral (“green”) hydrogen is regarded as a promising future option for facilitating the energy transition.

The heart of the plant is a Siemens Silyzer 300 powered by renewable electricity. The plant has a capacity of more than 6 MW, and can produce 1,200 m3 of hydrogen per hour. It will be used to test whether the technology deployed to produce green hydrogen is suitable for use on an industrial scale. Furthermore, the project, which receives €18 million in EU funding, will investigate the potential to provide network services, and potentially compensate for fluctuations in the power grid.

voestalpine is currently investigating the practicality of a hybrid technology to bridge between the existing coke/coal-based blast furnace route and electric arc furnaces powered with green electricity partly generated using green hydrogen. If economically feasible, from today’s perspective this option would reduce the Group’s CO2 emissions by around a third sometime between 2030 and 2035. Over the long-term, voestalpine is striving to successively increase the use of green hydrogen in the steel production process, allowing the Group to reduce its CO2 emissions by a total of over 80% by 2050.

H2FUTURE is an important milestone for the industrial application of electrolysis as a cornerstone for future industrial applications in the steel industry, in refineries, the manufacture of fertilizers, and other industrial sectors requiring large volumes of hydrogen. It creates the basis for future projects on an industrial scale.

In its business segments, voestalpine is a globally leading technology group with a unique combination of materials and processing expertise. voestalpine, which operates globally, has around 500 Group companies and locations in more than 50 countries on all five continents. It has been listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1995. With its products and system solutions using steel and other metals, it is a leading partner of the automotive and consumer goods industries as well as of the aerospace and oil & gas industries. voestalpine is also the world market leader in complete railway systems as well as in tool steel and special sections.

In the business year 2018/19, the Group generated revenue of €13.6 billion, with an operating result (EBITDA) of €1.6 billion; it had just under 52,000 employees worldwide.

Comments

Engineer-Poet

€18 million for 6 MW.  €3 per watt.  Not gonna fly at that price.

Alain

Great that industrial scale green H2 production is (slowly). Even if H2 is never used as fuel, we will need gigatons per year for industrial applications.

Alain

Typo: ... (Slowly) taking off.

sd

For reference, 6 MW is approximately the power of 2 North American diesel-electric freight locomotives.

Their comments about using hydrogen for making steel are somewhat confusing as coke is used for both heat and a reducing agent with iron ore which is iron oxide. I believe that you can use hydrogen as a direct reducing agent for iron oxide which would generate H2O instead of CO2. But why would you use hydrogen to make electric power?

Jeffery Green

(But why would you use hydrogen to make electric power?)


Energy storage is the key to 100% renewable energy. Hydrogen is this tricky substance to work with since it pretty much reacts with steel. Embrittlement. Hopefully all the kinks left


SJC

1,200 m3 of hydrogen per hour...
$6 million per year at retail rates can help pay it back.
The key is how much does a kWh cost?

Davemart

I am astonished that some here are talkiing about a small scale pilot plant as though the costs were representative of what could be expected in volume producion two orders of magnitude higher.

That is not how pilot plants work, not in any technology.

They prove the technologies, and give an indication of how much costs can be taken out.

Engineer-Poet

Pilot plant?  Water electrolysis is a mature technology.

SJC

replacing fossil fuels in steel production ...
That is a stated goal, they want to review costs and reliability I suspect.

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