UK lime kiln in world’s first net zero hydrogen trial

High quality lime has been made for the first time in the UK using hydrogen technology in the world’s first net zero trial.

The trial, conducted by Tarmac at its Tunstead site near Buxton, was the culmination of a project funded by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) demonstrated the significant potential of to use hydrogen as a viable alternative fuel to natural gas for commercial purposes. large-scale lime production.

A number of trials were conducted with different energy replacements, which resulted in 100% natural gas replacement.

Lime is currently made in high temperature kilns heating the calcium carbonate in the limestone to around 1000°C. The use of hydrogen as fuel ensures that there is no CO2 produced from the combustion of fuel, emitting only water vapor.

Commenting on the innovative trial, Graham Cooper, Lime Manager at Tarmac, said: “High purity limes are essential to our way of life and are used in a wide range of industries, from wastewater treatment to the manufacture of pharmaceuticals and cosmetics.

“Lime has been made in the Peak District for centuries and this groundbreaking project aims to secure the future of this nationally important industry as the UK moves to net zero.”

The project builds on the company’s broader long-term sustainability program and the company’s commitment to reach net zero by 2050 and reduce CO emissions.2 by 45% per ton of product by 2030. Over the past five years, Tarmac has succeeded in reducing CO2 24% per ton of product since 1990.

Dr Diana Casey, Director of Energy and Climate Change at the Mineral Products Association, who managed the entire project, said: “Our industry has engaged in groundbreaking collaborative research and innovation to achieve the industry net zero goals.

“This trial has shown that lime manufacturing can and will be part of a future net zero society. What is needed now is investment and infrastructure development to enable the deployment of this technology on a commercial scale at sites across the country.

Minister for Energy, Clean Growth and Climate Change, Greg Hands, said: “Backed by government funding of £2.8million, this project is helping industry move away from fossil fuels. and reduce energy bills. The development of hydrogen technology is key to accelerating the UK’s energy independence by boosting clean, local and affordable energy.

The project was funded by BEIS under its Industrial Fuel Switching Competition and is part of MPA-managed fuel switching trials at three sites in the lime and cement sectors.

A second demonstration using hydrogen, meat and bone meal and by-products from the biodiesel industries was used to power the main burner of a cement kiln at a plant in Ribblesdale, Lancashire , under the same program.

A third demonstration, also at Tunstead but at the cement plant, investigated the use of plasma (electric) energy to heat the calciner.

The results of these projects will be shared with lime and cement producers and other energy-intensive industries in the UK and around the world as examples of best practice, with the aim of disseminating and maximizing the environmental benefits of the technology.

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