Aurubis & Wärme expand Germany’s industrial heat system

As of the 2024/25 heating period, about 20,000 more households in Hamburg will be supplied with CO2-free industrial heat from a sub-process of Aurubis copper production. This is part of a heat supply contract that the two companies signed. The use of CO2-free industrial heat in the Wärme Hamburg heating network will replace heat that is currently generated from fossil fuels. This can save up to 100,000 t of CO2 emissions annually in Hamburg starting in 2025.

Following renovations in summer 2024, the heat will be produced in Aurubis’ contact acid plant in Hamburg, a part of copper refining in which sulfuric acid is formed in multiple process steps. This process is an exothermic chemical reaction that generates CO2-free heat at a temperature suitable for carbon-neutral district heating. The technology has been used successfully at the Aurubis plant since 2018 to supply heat to enercity to feed the HafenCity East and Rothenburgsort districts, and is now being expanded significantly. Aurubis also contributes these solutions to the research project Living Lab Northern Germany to enable a knowledge transfer for additional projects of this kind.