HARARE will demonstrate sustainable pathways to produce non-ferrous metals using hydrogen as an enabler, for removing waste and valorising materials in carbon free processes. The consortium’s concern and thus the drive to build this initiative, starts with an industry that is key contributor to a sustainable future: the metallurgical sector. The switch to renewable energies requires vast amounts of metals, such as steel and aluminium for solar panels and wind turbines, and copper for bolstering the electricity grid necessary for transport and industry.
The metallurgical industry amounted to 70 million tons direct CO2 emitted in 2017 . Reduction of the CO2 emissions of the metallurgical industry is essential to ensure further licence to operate in Europe. Moreover, carbon-based processes make the European metallurgical industry dependent on imports. Hard coal (also coking coal or metallurgic coal) which remains a vital ingredient for the sector, has been identified as a Critical Raw Material (CRM) by the European Commission (EC) ever since 2017.
Using hydrogen as a reductant to substitute carbon is one of the few ways metallurgy can potentially become truly free of CO2-emissions, utilising raw materials that can be produced in Europe, from available resources, and simultaneously reduce their dependence on CRM. HARARE’s vision is to tackle these challenges and become part of the solution, making the metallurgic industry more sustainable by presenting a circular concept that is based on a two-fold reasoning:
1) Recover wastes with hydrogen
2) Hydrogen-based processes will allow for an environmentally friendly metal industry while decreasing dependence from hard coal imports and being cost competitive.