SCHOTT receives funding to develop climate-friendly glass production

German Federal Ministry for the Environment (BMU) grants supports technology change to reduce carbon emissions

Glass melting is energy-intensive, SCHOTT is developing new technologies to replace the fossil fuel natural gas with electricity from renewable sources - Photo: SCHOTT

In the fall of 2020, the specialty glass manufacturer SCHOTT announced its intention to become climate-neutral by 2030. Technology change plays a central role in a four-part action plan. Now, SCHOTT has been awarded two grants totalling 4.5 million EUR from the German Minister of the Environment Svenja Schulze to support the development of climate-friendly glass melting processes. The funding comes from the “Decarbonization in Industry” grant program of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment.

The government subsidies will be used for two development projects that aim to replace the fossil fuel natural gas with electricity from renewable energy sources in heating the company’s glass melting units in the future. With the new technologies, SCHOTT plans to make a substantial reduction in its carbon emissions.

“Technological transformation is our greatest challenge on the path toward climate neutrality. It requires us to fundamentally rethink glass production and make some groundbreaking innovations. In particular, we are focusing on electrification through green electricity and hydrogen technology. The government research funding will help support our efforts in this area. That is why we are very grateful to have been awarded these grants,” explained Dr. Frank Heinricht, Chairman of the Board of Management at SCHOTT.

The first development project focuses on the melting process for pharmaceutical glass, which is used, for example, in manufacturing the vials for COVID-19 vaccines. Here, the research funding amounts to around 784,000 Euros. The second project involves the melting process for specialty glass used in technical applications. Here, the grant amounts to 3.72 million EUR.

Specialty glass is melted at temperatures of up to 1,700 degrees Celsius. Because glass melting is a highly complex process, developing new technologies in this area is associated with big challenges.

SCHOTT wants to achieve the ambitious goal of climate neutrality through an action plan with four fields of action. In addition to technological change, these include continued improvement in energy efficiency, switching to 100 percent green electricity, and compensating for any unavoidable residual emissions.