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Could the ‘first’ hydrogen firing of industrial boiler in Manchester hold the key to UK’s decarbonisation?

The ‘HyNet Industrial Fuel Switching’ programme aims to make the industry confident to make the switch from natural gas to hydrogen

A 1MW industrial boiler in Manchester was fired with hydrogen in a trial that promises to hold the key to the UK’s industrial decarbonisation.

The firing is part of the ‘HyNet Industrial Fuel Switching’ (IFS) programme, which aims to demonstrate alternative sustainable sources of fuel for industry.

The scheme, led by Progressive Energy, will provide data to show how the industry can switch from natural gas to hydrogen.

The demonstration of what is described as the first hydrogen firing of industrial boiler was attended by staff from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the British consumer goods company Unilever.

The initiative is part of HyNet North West, an integrated hydrogen and carbon capture storage project, which is predicted to remove up to ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide from across North West England and North East Wales every year.

That amount is equivalent of taking four million cars off the road annually.

The HyNet IFS programme was supported by a £5.3 million BEIS grant.

Andy Burnham, Metro-Mayor for Greater Manchester, said: “This hydrogen trial shows how the North West and Greater Manchester are at the forefront of the low carbon economy and that, working with Cadent and the HyNetNW project, we can deliver deep decarbonisation of society.

“The new hydrogen network will supply our industry with low carbon hydrogen, decarbonising our homes and vehicles and creating good jobs for the future which as part of our drive to deliver carbon-neutrality by 2038”.

David Parkin, Director at Progressive Energy, commented: “Decarbonising our industry is vital for the UK to reach net zero by 2050.”

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