Green hydrogen is one of the most promising emission-free fuels to address the environmental challenges of heavy polluting industries, including aluminium. The test in Hydro Extrusion’s plant is the world’s first on an industrial scale. The natural gas was successfully replaced with green hydrogen in the recycling of aluminium, a key step towards decarbonization of Industry.

Indeed, once matured, the fuel-switch technology of hydrogen can be extended to other high-heat processes, such as in glass or cement.

“As a pioneer of the decarbonization of industry, Fives has been at the forefront of hydrogen for decades. We are excited to work with Hydro on this common ambition to produce carbon-free aluminum through more than 100 years of expertise in industrial combustion and a large range of state-or-the art burners, combustion systems and digital tools.” says Stephan Paech, CEO at Fives North American Combustion Inc.

“This test is part of developing commercial fuel switch solutions and to demonstrate that hydrogen can be used in aluminium production. Green hydrogen can remove hard to abate emissions from fossile fuels, in processes where electricity is not an alternative, both in the aluminium industry and in other heavy industries,” says Per Christian Eriksen, Head of Hydro Havrand – Hydro’s green hydrogen production company.

To carry out the test, Fives first upgraded the existing high efficiency North American TwinBed™ II combustion system (regenerative low-NOx burner manufactured by Fives) as well as designed and supplied the hydrogen and natural gas mixing station, and all controls needed to operate the system safely and effectively. Always one innovation ahead, Fives also provided the computational fluid dynamic (CFD) analysis and the data acquisition solution to monitor the performance of the combustion system and ran additional testing in its newly hydrogen equipped laboratory in Cleveland, Ohio, United States.

The aluminium produced in the test will be used in mass-production of recycled aluminium from Hydro Extrusion Navarra, creating the world’s first hydrogen fueled aluminium billets for extruded products such as car parts and window frames.