Project RDE – Reducing Diffuse Emissions

An innovative exhaust system, the largest environmental protection
measure at Aurubis Hamburg since the 1980s

Responsible corporate governance and the highest sustainability standards are part of our identity. With a new, innovative exhaust system for Reducing Diffuse Emissions (RDE) at the Hamburg site, Aurubis is setting standards in environmentally friendly primary copper production, thus demonstrating a clear commitment to sustainability. Through extensive investments in the installation, Aurubis is now also reducing residual diffuse emissions from primary copper production that previously couldn’t be captured from a technical standpoint. As a result, Aurubis is securing the future of the site, which is close to the city, as requirements for environmental protection increase. One component of RDE is the nearly emission-free processing of intermediate products from primary copper production in a new, closed building extension. This will also be connected to the exhaust system by 2022.

RDE at a glance
  • € 85 million investment in environmental protection
  • Automatic control of the 71 m2 ridge turrets in alignment with current needs
  • Pipeline system with a total length of185 m and an inner diameter of 4.50 m
  • Over 6,300 filter elements
  • Up to 540,000 Nm³/h air suction capacity
  • Filtering of particles smaller than 10 μm
  • 1.5 years of preparation, 1.5 years of construction
  • Commissioning in October 2021
Exhaust system with state-of-the-art, ultra-fine filters

Aurubis has continuously reduced particulate emissions since 2000. With an investment volume of € 85 million, the RDE installation is the largest environmental
protection measure in the plant in the Veddel district since the 1980s. It ensures another significant reduction in diffuse emissions.

Innovative and powerful

For RDE, new technologies are being used and combined in completely new ways. The specially developed, needs-based control of the ridge turrets enables a level
of digitalization in environmental protection that is unique in the metals industry thus far, as well as efficient implementation with the high volumes of exhaust air.

A global example

Today, Aurubis is already one of the world’s most sustainable and efficient smelter networks. Since 2000, the Group has continually invested € 650 million in environmental protection measures in copper production – € 300 million at the Hamburg site alone. Aurubis is committed to the goal of becoming carbonneutral by 2050 at the latest and has set ambitious, science-based targets to reduce CO2 emissions through the Science Based Targets initiative. These targets are
being implemented in related projects. In addition to RDE, decarbonization projects in Hamburg such as the use of industrial heat, the power-to-steam procedure, and hydrogen trials are a few of the projects to achieve the sustainability targets.