The hydrogen revolution is gaining momentum to drive energy transition in hard-to-abate industries such as cement and steel.
Cemex, SAB de CV, Mexico HQ multinational building materials company, the 5th largest cement producer globally, has remained very active in employing hydrogen in its decarbonisation drive. It has established a partnership (17th March) called Carbon Neutral Alliance to make its Rüdersdorf plant in Germany carbon neutral by 2030, H2Bulletin reports.
In line with its’ Future in Action’ program, the new alliance, which is a consortium of industrial companies, will work on industrial-scale demonstration projects and test innovative technologies to support the decarbonisation of the cement industry.
The alliance will explore producing hydrogen by using renewable energy. It will also look into carbon capture use and storage (CCUS), synthetic fuel, green hydrocarbons and waste heat recovery.
The company expects that the learning from the Rüdersdorf project would be then extending to the company other cement plants. It is also seeking financial supports and applying to various European funding, including national funding schemes, the Innovation Fund and Green Deal Call.
Cemex said that it has already achieved a 35% reduction in CO2 emissions from 1990, which is ten years ahead of its set target, and now plans for a 55% reduction by 2030 in Europe with the goal to deliver carbon-neutral concrete globally by 2050.
Early this month, as part of its “Future in Action” program, Cemex announced an investment of US$ 25 million in new technology to replace fossil fuels at its Rugby cement plant in the UK. The new system is expected to be operational in June 2021 and would run on 100% hydrogen, making the pant carbon neutral. The company uses 60% of its energy needs from alternative fuel in Europe and is sourcing 100% of its electricity from a renewable source.
Furthermore, last month Cemex said that it introduced hydrogen technology as part of the fuel mix in its all European cement manufacturing facilities. The company said that hydrogen technology release zero CO2 from combustion and would reduce dependence on fossil fuel. The company started trials of the technology in 2019 at its Alicante cement plant in Spain, then expanded to other plants in Europe in 2020. It now plans to extend the technology to its other cement plants globally.