Home » Rockwool trials green hydrogen to power insulation factory

Rockwool trials green hydrogen to power insulation factory

by Sion Geschwindt
Rockwool trials green hydrogen to power insulation factory

Insulation manufacturer Rockwool has begun trialling green hydrogen as a fuel for the production of insulation at its Bridgend factory.

The government-funded project is a partnership between Rockwool, Marubeni Europower and Mott MacDonald.

The current process for the manufacture of Rockwool’s stone wool insulation uses natural gas in the combustion systems and curing ovens. It is now investigating the viability of converting natural gas usage to green hydrogen produced on site.

By including electrolytic hydrogen production from local wind and solar renewable power in Bridgend, the project could demonstrate the viability of green hydrogen as an end-to-end fuel solution in industrial processes.

This combination of research into green hydrogen use and viable on-site production could open opportunities, it is suggested, not only for other Rockwool factories but also for other industries.

The research is funded by a £400,000 grant from the Industrial Hydrogen Accelerator, part of the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP).

Rafael Rodriguez, senior vice president of the Danish corporation and its UK managing director, said: “We already produce a net negative product with data showing that over their lifetime, Rockwool insulation products sold in 2022 will save over 100 times more carbon than was emitted during their production.

“However, we want to do more to reduce our operation impact. Rockwool Group has set ambitious decarbonisation targets verified and approved by the Science Based Target initiative, and in line with this, we are looking forward to enhancing our own understanding about the potential for green hydrogen use in our business.”

Marubeni Europower president and CEO, Tomoki Nishino, said: “We believe that this feasibility study is directly relevant to other factories of a similar kind that need to take similar measures.

“I hope other industries can also benefit from our study and that this type of initiative spreads widely across South Wales Industrial Cluster, Wales, UK, and beyond.

“Moreover, Marubeni hopes to provide unique value to UK as a Japanese company with an access to hydrogen supply chain partners and Japanese governmental subsidy funding supports, for the purpose of promoting further mutually beneficial collaboration between UK and Japan.”

Image credit: Rockwool Ltd

Read next: Costain pilots hydrogen-powered fuel cell

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