Hydrogen is a hot topic in various industries as a sustainable alternative to fossil fuels. Probat’s entry into this alternative fuel source comes at just the right time, as the cost of gas is rising at an unprecedented rate, due in part to Russia’s restrictions after Putin turned off the tap to European markets.
Hydrogen is a combustible gas produced by a process called electrolysis, in which electricity is passed through water to separate the hydrogen and oxygen molecules. One disadvantage of hydrogen in terms of sustainability is that it consumes a lot of energy (electricity). However, it retains its green credentials if the electricity is generated sustainably from renewable or nuclear sources.
Most people want to know why you do not just use electricity as a fuel source when hydrogen consumes electricity in the first place. The reason varies depending on the industry (it’s worth reading Bill Gates’ excellent book ‘How to avoid a climate disaster to learn more about the uses of hydrogen).
The automotive industry, for example, is interested in hydrogen because you can drive further with it than with electric vehicles and refuel in the same way as with a petrol car. In addition, hydrogen is much easier to store than electricity is with current battery technology.
In Probat’s case, however, hydrogen fuel can burn, similar to gas, and it can probably be treated in the same way as a gas-powered roaster, which the company cites in the below press release as one of the contributing reasons they chose this technology.
The CONNECTING MARKETS symposium, taking place at the PROBAT headquarters on September 21 and 22, is casting its shadows ahead: At this year’s two-day networking highlight of the global coffee community, the company will present its first hydrogen-powered shop roaster.
The topic of alternative—and preferably green—energies remains prevalent in the production industry worldwide. New regulations and growing consumer pressure for more sustainable practices have caused a sharp rise in the demand for alternatively powered roasters in recent years.
This fact is contributing to ongoing thoughts on new environmentally friendly technologies. However, the availability and current price development for natural gas have now led to a strong request for temporary answers on the way to carbon-neutral roasting processes. PROBAT has been addressing this challenge by looking into adequate alternatives and now offers its customers LPG-compatible adaptations of burner technology.
Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) is produced during oil refining or is extracted during the natural gas production process. With higher availability on the markets, LPG has much potential as an alternative to natural gas. Also, with manageable effort, roasting machines previously operated with natural gas can also be converted to LPG operation. The PROBAT experts derive the actual technical steps required, such as LPG-compatible adaptations of installed burner equipment, on a case-by-case basis.
We needed to come up with an interim solution to help our customers overcome the natural gas shortage. That is why we are now offering retrofits to make burners LPG-compatible. However, the carbon intensive nature of traditional roasting is hampering the coffee industry’s ability to reduce its environmental impact. Therefore, we have been looking into the issue of fossil fuel replacement for years now.
And we have tested nearly all viable alternatives, such as biogas, electricity, or green hydrogen, which we consider the future of coffee roasting where direct electrification is not possible. Our whole engineering team made a concerted effort to develop roasting technology that can be operated with this highly combustible gas.
And they accomplished this task successfully, as we will present the first hydrogen-fueled P05 shop roaster at our CONNECTING MARKETS symposium in September. With a view to the company’s efforts toward fulfilling its own climate targets he adds: “The development of hydrogen-compatible roasters is a paramount step in the long overdue transition to green energy and the decarbonization of the coffee industry.”Thomas Koziorowski., PROBAT CTO
If you want to find out more about the CONNECTING MARKETS Symposium, please go to www.connectingmarkets.de.
If you want to learn more about the transitional solutions offered by PROBAT, please get in touch with your respective contact person or your country representative