Hrastnik1860 is has announced their involvement in the international H2GLASS project, which aims to create technology for the glass industry to achieve 100 percent hydrogen combustion in production facilities. The project, which is the largest of its kind in Europe and is supported by European funds through the International Horizon project, includes 23 partners from various glass sectors, including manufacturers of packaging, flat glass and glass fibre. The project is coordinated by the Norwegian company, Sintef Energy and the activities will be conducted over a four-year period, starting in January 2023 in Slovenia.
The energy efficiency of glass furnaces, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the glass industry, reached a plateau of thermodynamic efficiency a decade ago. In order to successfully decarbonize, glass melting technology must be completely changed. After the successful pilot use of hydrogen in Hrastnik1860, as part of the international H2GLASS project, the company is already working on further steps for the use of hydrogen in industrial glass melting furnaces.
By 2024, Hrastnik1860 wants to demonstrate the use of 100 percent hydrogen in two business units. In this way, the company will combine the use of hydrogen with the help of electrically assisted glass melting and completely reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuel combustion, without significant impacts on the flexibility of production and the lifespan of the glass furnace. If the industrial demonstration is successful, combining these technologies will be a key to the decarbonisation of glass production.
The H2GLASS project will officially begin with a meeting between January 24 and 26 in Slovenia, where all partners will gather, discuss the project and formulate an action plan. This will be an opportunity for everyone concerned to start interacting and pursue a shared objective. Hrastnik1860, as a leading company in the glass packaging segment, is honoured to share its knowledge regarding the use of hydrogen in the glassmaking process with their partners and host a demonstration site visit.
The glass industry, along with other energy-intensive industries, is essential to the economy because they supply the raw materials and finished goods for numerous value chains that are crucial to the European Union’s economy. As a result, the decarbonisation of industrial processes is necessary to achieve climate goals, maintain a competitive advantage and secure jobs in the EU.
The production of glass in a climate-neutral society will be based on the diversification of energy sources. That, in addition to the electrification of processes, includes the simultaneous use of alternative energy vectors obtained from renewable energy sources, which will make it possible to reduce the use of conventional low-carbon fossil fuels to a minimum at the expense of greater flexibility in the use of energy from renewable energy sources.
The H2GLASS project marks a big step towards the decarbonization of the glass industry, and we are proud to be a part of this important initiative.