Anglo American launches hydrogen-powered mine truck

Anglo American launches hydrogen-powered mine truck

Anglo American has launched its first retrofitted hydrogen truck as part of its nuGEN Zero Emissions Haulage Solution (ZEHS) project aimed at decarbonising its mining operations.

Blue View

Anglo’s proof of concept truck was launched at the company’s Mogalakwena platinum mine in South Africa. The truck uses a hybrid hydrogen fuel cell where hydrogen enters the fuel cell from the tank and mixes with oxygen to create water in a chemical reaction catalysed by platinum. This generates electricity that is used to power the motors that drive the wheels. The ZEHS project is an end-to-end integrated hydrogen production, fuelling, and haulage system for mine sites. The launch is the company’s first tangible step towards its goal of delivering metals and minerals without any carbon footprint.

The use of hydrogen, a clean, versatile energy carrier of almost infinite supply will play a significant role in the decarbonisation of energy, resulting in more sustainable industries. Hydrogen is the Earth’s most abundant element and is a zero-emissions energy carrier with a high energy density. It can be stored in large quantities and for long periods as well as used as a store of energy generated from renewables. Hydrogen is also extremely flammable and future uptake will require technologies to ensure safe transportation and storage. The Hydrogen Council’s net-zero scenario estimates hydrogen will contribute more than 20% of global carbon abatement by 2050.

For Anglo, the move is a smart one.  If this pilot is successful, it could remove up to 80% of diesel emissions at its open-pit mines by rolling the technology out across its global fleet.  Second, if the commercialisation of the technology is successful, it would create sizable demand for the company’s platinum.  And third, the move fits with wider South African governmental plans to create a “Hydrogen Valley” stretching approximately 835km from the PGM-rich Bushveld geological area in Limpopo, along the industrial and commercial corridor to Johannesburg and to the south coast at Durban.

  • 12 May 2022
  • South Africa
  • Anglo American
  • Platinum Group Metals

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