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SGD Pharma successfully trials hydrogen burners

At the end of January, SGD Pharma started a two-week trial using 100 percent hydrogen burners for industrial-scale glass production. The trial, conducted at SGD Pharma’s state-of-the-art Saint-Quentin-Lamotte (SQLM) manufacturing plant in France, was a resounding success and will inform SGD Pharma’s decarbonization roadmap, which aims to reduce CO2 emissions from 2020 by 35 percent in 2030 and by 65 percent in 2040.

During the trial, up to 50 percent of the burners at SQLM were converted to operate using a combination of hydrogen and oxygen combustion instead of the previously used Oxygas. The hydrogen burners contributed around 75 percent of the total volume of combustion gases.

Air Liquide supported SGD Pharma during the trials by the provision of equipment and hydrogen as well as technical assistance and expertise. The outstanding results of the trial confirm the possibility of using hydrogen to decarbonate the combustion of our furnaces.
SGD Pharma intends to lead the decarbonization of the glass pharma industry and this step is just the latest on its ambitious roadmap.

Olivier Rousseau, CEO of SGD Pharma, explained, “We have been working with the Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi) on the reduction of CO2 emissions across our five glass manufacturing plants (including SQLM in France, our two other EU plants, and both our Indian and Chinese plants) and have developed a 1.5 degree Celsius decarbonization pathway and target validation.

“As part of the plan, we are currently rebuilding one of the furnaces at SQLM which will increase electricity output of the furnace by 40 percent. The trialled hydrogen burners will help us to achieve our SBTi targets and to continue with the investment in our SQLM plant which is the world’s most advanced pharma-grade glass manufacturing plant, as well as upgrading our other sites across multiple geographies.”

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