BLOG ARTICLE: 31/05/2022

Funding helps fuel hydrogen project in push for net zero


Funding helps fuel hydrogen project in push for net zero

The British Ceramic Confederation (BCC) is delighted to announce that £300,000 of Government funding has been awarded for a project to study the feasibility of using hydrogen as a fuel for the ceramics sector as the industry pushes to work towards net zero targets.

The funding has been awarded by the Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) from the Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) which provides funding for low-carbon technologies and systems. The funding is aimed to decrease the costs of decarbonisation, the Portfolio is enabling the UK to end its contribution to climate change.

The BCC will work on the project with 12 member companies from the BCC’s Hydrogen Project Working Group, representing key areas of the ceramics sector (bricks, roof tiles, floor/wall tiles, sanitaryware, refractories, drainage pipes and tableware). Further support will be provided by not-for-profit research and technology organisation, Glass Futures.

The ‘Hydrogen for the ceramics sector’ project will review the feasibility of converting the UK ceramics sector from natural gas fired kilns, to kilns that can be fired with hydrogen fuels (up to 100%), laying the groundwork for industrial-scale hydrogen trials in a Phase 2 follow-on project.

BCC Energy & Innovation Manager Jon Flitney said: “BCC is delighted to be leading this hydrogen project. We look forward to assessing the feasibility of hydrogen for the ceramics sector and developing proposals for demonstrator projects as part of Phase 2.”

The project will provide a comprehensive assessment of the feasibility to switch the ceramics sector to hydrogen through:

A review into current work being undertaken across the globe into hydrogen technologies for the ceramics sector, building links with other groups working in this field

Undertaking combustion trials to benchmark a range of hydrogen fuel scenarios (up to 100%) against natural gas, assessing the impact on ceramics bodies being fired under such conditions

Undertaking an economic modelling exercise to assess the costs of switching industrial ceramics sites to hydrogen

Scoping out and planning industrial-scale hydrogen trials at a range of ceramics manufacturing sites

Hydrogen Project Working Group chair Stephane Vissiere, from Wienerberger, said: “This project will be a step forward to help answer questions about the feasibility of hydrogen in the ceramics sector.”

“It is gratifying to see the sector come together in this way, as we all acknowledge the importance of this work as we push to confirm viable routes towards net zero in order to meet 2050 decarbonisation targets.”

The group will also look to engage with other industrial sectors and ceramics research groups including outside the UK.

The BCC members involved are Wienerberger, Churchill China, DSF Refractories, Forterra, Hinton Perry & Davenhill, Ibstock, Ideal Standard, Johnson Tiles, Marley, Michelmersh, Naylor and Wavin.