Argos Honduras has completed a pilot program at its Piedras Azules plant for a process where hydrogen is injected directly into the kiln through the main burner, which the company says boosts clinker production and cuts petroleum coke consumption. Cemex announced a similar process last month at its San Pedro de Macorís cement plant in the Dominican Republic, and the firm retrofitted all its European cement plants for hydrogen injection in 2020.



Argos Honduras revealed this week that it has been testing the injection of hydrogen into the kiln of its integrated Piedras Azules cement plant.

It has completed a pilot with Portugal-based company UTIS. As part of the process it has been trialling, it has split water by electrolysis and then injected the hydrogen and oxygen directly into the kiln via the main burner. The pilot has reportedly increased clinker production and reduced petcoke consumption at the plant.

Argos is far from alone in using hydrogen in this way. At the end of August 2022 Cemex said that it was also starting to use hydrogen at its San Pedro de Macorís cement plant in the Dominican Republic. CRH UK-subsidiary Tarmac completed a trial in July 2022 using hydrogen as an alternative to natural gas at its Tunstead lime plant.

HeidelbergCement UK-subsidiary Hanson also ran a successful trial using hydrogen as part of the fuel mix at its Ribblesdale cement plant in 2021. The government-funded trial used a combination of hydrogen (39%), meat and bone meal (12%) and glycerine (49%) to reach a 100% alternative fuels substitution rate.

In 2021 Hanson reported that fuel switching to hydrogen could help it reduce its 2050 CO2 emissions by about 3%, or by -35kg CO2/t of cement product.

Cemex appears to be a leader in using hydrogen in this way. The Mexico-based company started injecting hydrogen in 2019 and retrofitted all of its European cement plants with the technology to do so in 2020. It then said it wanted to roll this out to the rest of its operations.