Elkem is developing technology that it says has the potential to enable new green value chains based on used hydrogen from its silicon production in Bremanger, Norway.
The company today (11th Nov) said it has received NOK 4.4m (€414,00) of funding from Norwegian Ministry of Climate and Environment-owned Enova, which supports the development of energy and climate technology, among other responsibilities.
According to preliminary calculations, it could be possible to extract close to 120 tonnes of hydrogen a year. The profitability of the potential project will depend on good utilisation of the hydrogen plant, the amount of hydrogen sold, as well as distribution costs and sales price for the hydrogen.
Elkem will work with independent research institute SINTEF on the project.
Oskar Gärdeman, Market Manager for Industry at Enova, said, “The support for this project is given through our support programme for thematic initiatives in the industry and is a good example of the utilisation of energy resources that would otherwise be wasted.”
“If this project succeeds, it can pave the way for other industrial companies that have similar potential resources that they are not be able to utilise.”
Arne Werge-Olsen, Plant Manager at Elkem Bremanger, said, “Elkem Bremanger’s main products are silicon and ferrosilicon, but we also have a long tradition of developing new value chains and we have a strong focus on sustainability and circular economy.”
“In the mid-1980’s, we started selling Microsilica, a former surplus product that today contributes to significant sales as additive powder in concrete and mortar. Now we investigate the opportunities to do the same with the surplus of hydrogen, to reduce emissions and provide increased revenue.”
Steffen Møller-Holst, Vice-President Marketing at SINTEF, added, “This is an important project that in the long run can contribute to the establishment of a nationwide infrastructure for hydrogen, which eventually will result in substantial emission reductions in the transport sector.”
“The hydrogen resource at Elkem Bremanger is attractive in that even in an initial market, with a limited number of end users of hydrogen, a hydrogen price can be achieved that is competitive with fossil fuels for use in transport.”