It was recently announced that a Skelmersdale tissue mill owned by Essity will be the first in the UK to use hydrogen power, resulting in more sustainable production of toilet tissue and kitchen rolls.
The Tawd Mill in the Lancashire town produces giant rolls of paper that are shipped to the company’s other sites across the UK for conversion into finished products that include Cushelle toilet rolls and Plenty kitchen towels.
Next year, the facility’s existing machine will transform part of its drying process from natural gas, which releases high CO2 emissions, to hydrogen. If the test is successful, it could produce paper with a 66% reduction in total CO2 emissions.
Essity will receive the funding through Phase 2 of the UK Government’s £55m Industrial Fuel Switching Competition, as part of the £1bn Net Zero Innovation Portfolio (NZIP) – that is awarding up to £2.2m to the trial, to help determine hydrogen’s feasibility as an alternative fuel source for the UK paper-making industry.
The company is committed to reducing its carbon emissions by 35% by 2030 – reaching net zero by 2050 and replacing natural gas with low carbon hydrogen would be a step in the right direction to reach its environmental goals as it would dramatically reduce CO2 emissions at the Tawd Mill site.
If the trial is successful, the technology could be adopted at Tawd Mill on a permanent basis, as well as being rolled out at other Essity facilities in the UK.