Germany’s Aurubis produces first copper anodes with hydrogen

Hamburg is a forward-looking region for innovative climate protection, and Aurubis is taking a crucial step to make the industry more climate-friendly.

Aurubis AG, a leading supplier and recycler of non-ferrous metals, today, has started testing hydrogen use on an industrial scale in copper anode production at the Hamburg plant, Germany.

In the pilot project, hydrogen and nitrogen were introduced in the anode furnace by replacing natural gas. These initial tests would assess the hydrogen application to ensure that all the relevant production steps go smoothly. Air Liquide supplied the required hydrogen for the tests.

The tests will examine hydrogen use in continuous operation until the late summer. The aim is to find a long term solution where hydrogen can replace natural gas for poling purposes in the anode furnace. These tests will also provide foundation hydrogen applications in other activities in the Group. The Hamburg Authority for Economic Affairs and Innovation also provided financial supports for the project.

Roland Harings, CEO of Aurubis AG, said, “Hydrogen has long been considered the energy source of the future. In addition to electricity, it can become the energy source of today if competitive parameters are created for its use.”

Dr Jens Jacobsen, Plant Manager, said, “The savings potential for the Hamburg smelter in this area alone amounts to 6,200 tonnes of CO2 annually.”

Dr Peter Tschentscher, First Mayor of Hamburg, said, “Hydrogen is already being used in Hamburg in a number of pilot projects on a large scale, like the one here at Aurubis. Our goal is to become the biggest hydrogen centre of the north: in sustainable production, technology development, and the establishment of a strong hydrogen economy.”

Ulf Gehrckens, Senior VP Corporate Energy & Climate Affairs at Aurubis, said. “If the tests go positively in late summer, this will open up additional opportunities to use hydrogen as an alternative, at Aurubis and beyond.”

Ethan Mandel

Ethan is the special correspondent for Europe covering the hydrogen industry for H2 Bulletin. Please click on the email icon to contact me via email or follow me on social media. I am reachable on Phone: +44 (0) 208 123 7812
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