Metso hydrogen-ready tech helping Aurubis become sustainable copper smelting leader

Aurubis has partnered with Metso as part of its plans to invest in hydrogen-ready anode furnaces at its Hamburg copper processing plant in Germany.

The company relies on Metso’s proven technology, consisting of complete hydrogen-ready Outotec Anode Furnaces with hoods and auxiliary equipment, which will be used in the anode refining process, Metso says. Close collaboration with Aurubis was key in designing the hydrogen-ready furnace by Metso, a first in the copper industry. Design input was based on full-scale hydrogen testing carried out at the Aurubis plant in 2021.

Aurubis expects the new technology in copper production to provide potential savings of 5,000 t/y of CO2, with the Hamburg plant being one of the first copper smelters in the world to use hydrogen instead of natural gas for the reduction process in its anode furnaces.

Metso has supplied anode furnaces for copper refining and scrap melting since the 1970s. Metso’s Outotec Anode Furnaces are designed for safety and sustainability, enabling lower energy consumption, decreasing batch cycle time for more efficient refining and resulting in cleaner off-gases, the company says.

Metso says it can provide anode furnaces powered with steam reformation or hydrogen capabilities, both of which can significantly reduce process CO2 emissions compared with traditional processing media.