Three companies developed what they say is the world's first hydrogen combustion-type continuous combustion furnace for making lithium-ion battery (LiB) electrode materials. The furnace achieved zero carbon emission by adapting a special ceramic radiant-tube burner.

The furnace, Nero, was created using Noritake Co.’s firing furnace technology and Tokyo Gas Co. and Tokyo Gas Engineering Solutions Corp.’s hydrogen combustion technology. Nero performs stable heat treatment using hydrogen as fuel at the temperatures of 1832°F (1000°C) or higher required in the manufacturing process of LiB electrode materials. High-temperature firing by hydrogen mono-fuel combustion does not generate CO2, but there are issues to be cleared such as stable heating and suppression of NOx generation. However, by combining the three companies' technologies, however, they have overcome the problems and succeeded in commercializing the furnace.

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