Meet the partner:

Itsaso Auzmendi-Murua of SARRALLE 


Can you shortly introduce yourself and your role in the HyInHeat project?

I am Itsaso Auzmendi-Murua, the Hydrogen Business Line Manager at SARRALLE Environment & Energy, based in Spain. I studied Chemical Engineering at the University of the Basque Country, Spain, and then completed a Ph.D. in combustion thermochemistry and kinetics at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, USA. I have developed my academic and industrial career in several roles related to R&D and innovation, including positions in the U.S., Germany and Spain.

I am passionate about the decarbonisation of industrial processes and in my current role at SARRALLE I lead projects for the implementation of green hydrogen in energy-intensive sectors. Within the HyInHeat project, I will coordinate SARRALLE’s participation in one of the use cases with a steelmaking company.

How did SARALLE get involved in the HyInHeat project?

The goals of reducing carbon emissions from the steel industry to zero require significant technological advances, in which hydrogen will play a leading role, according to SARRALLE. In SARRALLE, we have set the strategic objective of making a coordinated and immediate effort with technology centers, experts in hydrogen generation and steel companies to make the decarbonisation of this industry a reality through the implementation of hydrogen technologies. In SARRALLE we are already leading the project H-ACERO, a pioneering project in the study of technologies that allow the substitution of natural gas by hydrogen in the main combustion equipment of steel companies. Getting involved in the HyInHeat project we saw as a natural next step for the industrialisation of these solutions.

How do you see the added value of HyInHeat for SARALLE?

HyInHeat, with 30 partners from 12 European countries, is one of the largest European consortiums for the industrial integration of hydrogen in both the steel and aluminum industry. Being part of this project provides SARRALLE the opportunity to interact with some of the main European players in the hydrogen industrial implementation. Moreover, the HyInHeat project will provide SARRALLE the opportunity to perform trials in an industrial environment of our hydrogen combustion solutions for the steel industry.

What is the role of SARALLE in the HyInHeat project?

Nowadays, most of the reheating furnaces for Rolling Mill in the steel industry operate with natural gas as fuel and air as oxidizing agent. SARRALLE within the HyInHeat project will work together with an ArcelorMittal plant, to adapt their reheating furnace, in order to allow the operation with 100% hydrogen as fuel, and oxygen as oxidizing agent, since the transition from the usual operation of the equipment with air to oxy-combustion, results in fuel savings of between 10-50% depending on the current operation of the equipment. Moreover, a major advantage of the transition of the furnace to oxy-combustion over air-combustion will the potential for reduction of total NOx emissions.

What do you hope to achieve by the end of the project?

Throughout the HyInHeat project we will gain knowledge on the industrialisation of our hydrogen combustion technologies for reheating furnaces for the steel industry, and we will be able to adapt our reheating furnace designs to operate with 100% hydrogen. Additionally, HyInHeat will provide us the opportunity to join forces with the other academic and industrial partners throughout the project, in order to work together on the successful integration of hydrogen as fuel in the steel sector.

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