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Integration of hydrogen for replacing fossil fuels in industrial applications (Processes4Planet Partnership) (IA)


Hydrogen does not emit any carbon dioxide when used and, when produced with renewable energies, it offers a solution to decarbonise industrial processes, being an important enabler to meet the 2050 climate neutrality goal of the European Green Deal and EU’s clean energy transition. Hydrogen can be used as feedstock and energy carrier in energy-intensive industry sectors. Hydrogen presents an opportunity for EU industry to reduce emissions across a number of sectors. The integration of hydrogen into new production routes, the direct use of hydrogen for heating and the use and production of GHG emission-free hydrogen instead of carbon-intensive hydrogen will be fundamental to decarbonise EU industry across a number of sectors.

In energy-intensive sectors, hydrogen can replace fossil fuels to generate high temperature heat when combusted in furnaces, kilns, heaters or boilers. If GHG emission-free hydrogen is used instead of fossil fuels, a zero GHG emission heating process could be achieved. As hydrogen burns differently than the currently used fossil fuels, its use involves important changes to the furnaces/kilns or the heating process, such as need of new burners, adjustments in the combustion system, conductive zone of the furnace or the (off-)gas system, need of hydrogen compatible materials. The design of the new burners must include aspects that minimise the NOx formation, associated to conventional hydrogen burners, such as lower flame temperature, slower combustion, etc.

The future large demand of green hydrogen will lead to large-scale oxygen production in the water electrolysis. Although oxygen can be harmlessly vented, the by-product oxygen can be captured and effectively used in industrial processes. Using oxygen instead of air in combustion reactions can reduce the energy use of the combustion, increase heating system efficiency and reduce the energy loss in the exhaust gases.

The proposals should address the following aspects:

  • Redesign of the heating process for the use of hydrogen as the sole heating fuel, including redimensioning and adjustments of the combustion system, conductive zone of the furnace or the (off-)gas system, plus possible measures to minimise NOx emissions;
  • Modification of the heating equipment and infrastructure required for the use of hydrogen, e.g. new burners and hydrogen compatible equipment materials;
  • Development of an oxygen or oxygen-enriched air combustion process that replaces an air combustion process, considering the energy and cost efficiency of the process;
  • Integration of measurement and control instrumentation for detection and regulation of fuel gas characteristics and flows;
  • Proven economic viability, which will be impacted by several parameters, in comparison with other heating alternatives.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a business case and exploitation strategy, as outlined in the introduction to this Destination.

Proposals submitted under this topic should include a safety assessment, in line with the Safety Planning for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Projects of the European Hydrogen Safety Panel, and a life cycle assessment for the implementation of the developed technologies.

Proposals should also take into account cooperation with the Mission Innovation area on Hydrogen, as well as dissemination notably within the communities of the Process4Planet partnership and of the Clean Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.

This topic implements the co-programmed European partnership Processes4Planet.

In this topic the integration of the gender dimension (sex and gender analysis) in research and innovation content is not a mandatory requirement