With the world’s first zero-emissions baking oven, a tunnel oven made by Den Boer, AMF Bakery Systems unlocked the opportunity for baking technology that is entirely environmentally sustainable. Times are now catching up with this next-generation technology, in finding ways to source and use green hydrogen.
The oven concept running on hydrogen is working technology residing in the AMF Tromp Innovation Center in the Netherlands. The modular Multibake® VITA Tunnel Oven effectively eliminated emissions commonly produced by baking ovens by using green hydrogen to activate its burners.
The development demonstrates that hydrogen is a viable energy source to support baking technology. Since many bakeries are using natural gas for their ovens, another type of gas could be an easy switch for them, the company theorized.
Burning green hydrogen is the key, as it only creates water/steam as a by-product and no CO2 emission; it is also able to reach relatively high temperatures, which are vital to baking.
Efficiency optimization can turn a theoretical model into day-to-day working technology. In this case, “It can be reached by having a large network and availability of hydrogen, so more bakeries can connect and reduce the use of natural gas/propane,” AMF highlights a potential solution that would also be a welcomed alternative to ever-increasing natural gas prices. Such large networks are currently in a project stage: earlier this year, RWE, Uniper and Bosch have announced large-scale projects for hydrogen research, while the European Hydrogen Backbone (EHB) initiative proposes a hydrogen network of 39,700 km by 2040, which can be further developed in the long term. In turn, the German government has allocated EUR52 million for hydrogen research. Electrolyzer systems are already available in many shapes and sizes, to produce hydrogen on location or at production sites. If electricity is generated via solar or wind energy, green hydrogen can be generated.
In the near future, bakeries will be able to generate their own green hydrogen with renewable resources. Potential solutions include companies working together to have an Electrolyzer, or hiring a party that produces hydrogen on-site, and transports it to their facility, just like local gas stations or gas-pipelines work.
Hydrogen availability is growing in the world, especially in the EU region, AMF observes: “The EU has started many initiatives via Hydrogen Europe, where producers, users, governments and lobbyists are gathered to build a new, sustainable future in Europe and beyond. AMF Bakery Systems is also a part of Hydrogen Europe and contributes to this stream of upcoming projects.”
Read the full article in Baking+Biscuit International, Issue 6, 2021.