Meet the partner:
Francesca Cavezza of European Aluminium
Can you shortly introduce yourself and your role in the HyInHeat project?
I joined the Innovation Hub of European Aluminium in September 2021 as Innovation Project Manager. I have a background in material science and my studies include a Ph.D. in collaboration with an aluminium company on the surface treatments for Al rolled product for automotive. I will be the link between the project itself and European Aluminium and I will do my best to be sure that the expertise and the strong connection that we have with the aluminium industry that we have in European Aluminium will be used in to exploit the outcome of the project in the best way possible. Such an exciting journey to come!
How did European Aluminium get involved in the HyInHeat project?
In November 2021, the Innovation Hub hosted a workshop on the role of hydrogen as an energy carrier for the aluminum industry. The workshop brought together key stakeholders, including representatives from the aluminum industry, research institutions, and technology providers, to discuss the challenges and opportunities of using hydrogen as an alternative fuel source for aluminum production. Following the workshop, European Aluminium reached out the IOB department of RWTH to highlight the interest among its members in collaborating on a proposal for Horizon Europe. The IOB department initiated then a proposal based on such strong industrial interest. This effort demonstrates the growing recognition of the potential of hydrogen in the aluminum industry and the importance of cross-sectoral collaboration to drive innovation and decarbonization.
How do you see the added value of HyInHeat for European Aluminium?
The European aluminum industry has made significant progress in reducing its environmental impact and is considered to be relatively low in terms of carbon footprint compared to other regions in the world. However, achieving climate neutrality by 2050 requires even more ambitious decarbonization efforts. Research and investment in alternative fuels, such as hydrogen, are therefore of pivotal importance for the European aluminum industry. By exploring the potential of hydrogen as a fuel, the industry can continue to reduce its environmental impact and lead the way towards a more sustainable future.
What is the role of European Aluminium in the HyInHeat project?
European Aluminium will play a crucial role in three distinct activities related to the HyInHeat project. Firstly, the organization will leverage its extensive network to facilitate communication and dissemination of project outcomes and their significance to relevant stakeholders across the aluminum value chain. Secondly, European Aluminium will provide valuable data on current processes for the development of life cycle assessments (LCAs) and support the revision of Al-related processes to enable more sustainable practices. Finally, the organization will analyze the current policy landscape, identifying potential gaps that could impede the successful exploitation of the HyInHeat project outcomes, and offer support to policymakers to ensure the effective implementation of the project’s findings.
What do you hope to achieve by the end of the project?
Research into the use of hydrogen as a fuel for the aluminum industry holds significant promise in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency. Projects like HyInHeat are paving the way for a more sustainable European industry and are enabling the role of hydrogen in achieving a greener future. By highlighting the success of projects like HyInHeat, we hope to encourage more research and investment in this area, leading to the development of innovative technologies that can help transition the industry towards a more sustainable future. Another goal is to raise awareness among relevant stakeholders about the role of hydrogen as a sustainable alternative to traditional fuels in the aluminum industry.
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