Funding has been secured to investigate the feasibility of using low carbon hydrogen as an alternative source of heat at Hanson’s asphalt plants.
The Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is providing almost £400,000 through the Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator programme, under the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio. The funding has been awarded through the EDF UK R&D centre to the Bay Hydrogen Hub – Hydrogen4Hanson project, which will look at developing nuclear hydrogen production and investigating technologies to deliver the hydrogen to industrial sites.
The BEIS is aiming to lead economy-wide transformation by backing enterprise and long-term growth, generating cheaper, cleaner, homegrown energy and unleashing the UK as a science superpower through innovation.
The £26 million Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator Programme, funded through the BEIS’s £1 billion Net Zero Innovation Portfolio, provides funding for innovation projects that can demonstrate end-to-end industrial fuel switching to hydrogen.
The project would underpin the development of a hydrogen hub at EDF’s Heysham nuclear power station in Morecambe, Lancashire, and the use of hydrogen to decarbonise multiple Hanson sites in the UK.
Hanson UK is part of Heidelberg Materials, one of the world’s largest integrated manufacturers of building materials and solutions, with leading market positions in cement, aggregates and ready-mixed concrete. As the forerunner on the path to carbon neutrality and circular economy in the building materials industry, it is working on sustainable building materials and solutions for the future.
Marian Garfield, Hanson UK sustainability director, said: “The use of hydrogen as a fuel at asphalt sites has not yet been physically demonstrated anywhere in the world, so we are delighted to once again be leading the way with new technologies that have the potential to significantly cut carbon emissions across our industry. Our involvement in this project is another example of our commitment to meeting our 2050 net zero carbon ambitions.”
It is hoped that the project will demonstrate a key step forward towards the decarbonisation of both the asphalt and cement industries and has the potential to be upscaled to more than 250 sites in the UK alone.