World’s first hydrogen-fuel asphalt burner

New hydrogen-fuel burner for asphalt production New hydrogen-fuel burner for asphalt production (Photo: Wirtgen Group)

Wirtgen Group has introduced a new Benninghoven burner billed as the world’s first unit which can be fuelled with 100% green hydrogen.

Used to produce asphalt for road surfacing, the new burner is intended to reduce emissions related to road construction.

Production of asphalt is described as a ‘thermal process’, which uses industrial burners to remove moisture from virgin or reclaimed asphalt material before it is mixed with bitumen.

The drying process has usually been dependent on fossil fuels, but the new unit from Benninghoven can use hydrogen or a series of other fuel types in any percentage mix.

To support this, the burner has an ‘intelligent’ control system which combines hardware and software to understand the fuel type being used and to regulate the pressure and drying process.

Units can be installed from new, or retrofitted to existing systems Units can be installed from new, or retrofitted to existing systems (Photo: Wirtgen Group)

Fuel types can be changed on the fly, which allows engineers to select fuel by availability and cost without having to shut down the system. This helps to save fuel and maintain temperatures.

Green hydrogen is said to have a very high energy density, which makes it a suitable fuel for this process. In addition, NOx emissions while using hydrogen as fuel are said to be ‘very low’. Benninghoven is also prepared to assist in sourcing hydrogen fuel.

The new burner is also said to use 20% less electricity while supporting the same feed capacity. A further benefit is the reduced noise, which has been cut by five decibels.


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