Iris Ceramica Group, the parent company of Stonepeak Ceramics in the U.S., has partnered with Edison Next, a subsidiary of the Edison Group, to embark on an innovative journey towards decarbonization.
This partnership has given birth to the visionary H2 Factory, a state-of-the-art production plant situated in Castellarano, Italy. This trailblazing initiative is set to redefine sustainability in the ceramic industry by harnessing the power of green hydrogen produced through an ingenious and bespoke system powered by renewable energy.
The unveiling of the H2 Factory marks a transformative moment for the ceramic industry, where sustainability and innovation intertwine. The partnership between Iris Ceramica Group and Edison Next represents a pivotal stride towards the ambitious goal of decarbonization. By embracing green hydrogen as a clean energy source, the H2 Factory sets out to revolutionize the production landscape of the energy-intensive ceramic sector. This strategic move aligns seamlessly with Italy’s broader energy transition objectives and underscores the collective commitment to sustainability.
The Ceramic district, nestled between the provinces of Modena and Reggio Emilia, serves as the backdrop for this monumental endeavor. This strategic area of ceramic production is poised to be a pioneer in sustainable manufacturing, with the H2 Factory at its forefront. Through meticulous planning and innovation, the project’s foundation was laid last year, culminating in the vision of a hydrogen-powered future. The integration of green hydrogen into the manufacturing process necessitates a comprehensive approach, from adapting kilns to accommodate hydrogen and natural gas blends to strategic infrastructure developments like rainwater collection systems, photovoltaic installations, and specialized hydrogen storage areas.
The H2 Factory, slated to commence hydrogen-powered operations in 2025, will specialize in crafting large slabs in the revolutionary realm of 4D Ceramics, where sustainability takes the fourth dimension. Moreover, the factory will produce substantial technical porcelain stoneware surfaces, catering to the luxury furnishing sector. This endeavor marks a significant investment of 50 million euros by Iris Ceramica Group, solidifying their commitment to reshaping the ceramics landscape with green innovation.
Edison Next, in partnership with Iris Ceramica Group, will erect a 1 MW green hydrogen production system driven by electrolysis and powered by renewable energy sources. Rainwater collection tanks will feed the electrolyzer, fostering sustainable water management. Additionally, a 1.2 MW photovoltaic system, combined with an existing 2 MW installation, will reinforce the energy backbone. The produced hydrogen will primarily fuel the kiln, with a potential to achieve a 100% hydrogen-powered kiln. The estimated annual production of around 132 tons of green hydrogen is projected to offset approximately 500,000 cubic meters of methane gas. This transformation promises an impressive reduction of around 900 tons of CO2 emissions annually.
As Iris Ceramica Group forges ahead on its decarbonization journey, the H2 Factory serves as an inspiring cornerstone. This endeavor could pave the way for the establishment of green hydrogen production systems in other factories within the group, catalyzing a wider shift towards sustainability.