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Green Hydrogen Burner for Mineral Pyroprocessing

thyssenkrupp Mining Technologies is setting the milestone on the path to clean mineral pyroprocessing with hydrogen.

Hydrogen has great potential to sustainably supply green energy to business areas that were previously considered difficult to decarbonize.

In Europe in particular, our customers and partners are increasingly faced with the challenge that plants with high CO2 emissions are not subsidised and the price per tonne of CO2 emissions has significantly increased in recent years.

Many of our clients are already looking for ways to reduce and/or capture CO2 emissions. Especially large emitters such as manufacturers of lime, magnesite and dolomite products (carbonate rocks) who can only reduce their emissions by using alternative fuels due to the CO2 released from the rock during processing. If the hydrogen is obtained from renewable sources or is produced as a by-product in other processes, for example, hydrogen provides a very efficient solution for this, as there are no more CO2 emissions from the fuel.

Despite the fact that 100% green hydrogen is not yet available, we are already looking into the future together with our customers in order to be prepared for the transition to a cleaner mineral pyroprocessing, being green hydrogen one of the alternatives we are looking into.

On the way to a CO2 free future with green hydrogen 

We at thyssenkrupp Mining Technologies have set ourselves the goal of supporting our customers and partners in the transition to green hydrogen, and in particular supporting those who are still dependent on natural gas or coal.

Our rotary kiln pilot plant is used for thermal treatment of various ores and raw materials, which are heated to temperatures of 800°C to 1500°C. The material can be preheated in a cyclone preheater or fed directly. By using the new burner, it is now possible to test the use of hydrogen and hydrogen/natural gas mixtures for treating the ore in addition to natural gas operation and to compare the different firing types.

Your advantages with thyssenkrupp's rotary kiln pilot plant

  • The influence of hydrogen as a fuel in the thermal treatment/calcination of various test materials can be investigated.

  • The burner is suitable for operation with 100% natural gas firing as well as 100% hydrogen firing, furthermore any mixtures between the two extremes can be fired.

  • Our rotary kiln system is being used for the first time in this size. The concept of the burner technology used as well as the hydrogen supply technology is used for the first time.

Our offer to a cleaner future in pyroprocessing:

Our customers receive information on whether and how the plants can be operated with hydrogen in the future and what effects this could have on their product. In addition, our customers receive basic information on how they can optimize their process technology (e.g. exhaust gas composition or emissions [NOx, H2O etc.]).

With considerable effort from our colleagues, we have managed to get the hydrogen burner up and running in the R&D centre. Customers can now carry out material tests with the plant, these should show whether the customer can achieve the usual product quality when using hydrogen as when using the standard fuels. It will not only help us to better understand the use and influence of H2 in the rotary kiln but also in other kilns types such as Multiple Hearth Furnaces, Gas Suspension Calciners and High Temperature Shaft Kilns.

Dr. Manuel Garcia Rodriguez - Head of Pyroprocessing

Hydrogen Combustion: Simplified Rotary Kiln with Pre-heater