Glass is in everything from tableware and windows to smartphone flat screens. Demand is rising due to population and infrastructure growth. However, glass is made in furnaces at extremely high temperatures. Producing it causes 22 million tonnes of CO2 in Europe and 95 million tonnes worldwide each year.
Sand and energy are required to make glass. Energy has traditionally been provided by burning natural gas with air to reach a temperature that transforms sand into hot glass ready to be moulded. However, the process is energy-intensive and polluting.
To solve this problem, LIFE Eco-HeatOx and a follow-on project, LIFE CleanOx, developed and improved a technology that preheats pure oxygen and natural gas. Using pure oxygen improves the overall energy efficiency of the glass-melting process.
The project team assessed the technology in a tableware making factory in Targovishte, Bulgaria. Results from LIFE Eco-HeatOx show a 6 to 9% energy saving compared to previous combustion methods. Also, CO2 emissions were down by 23% and Nitric Oxide (NOx) by 90%.
For years, the LIFE programme has addressed the challenges and negative impacts of the EU's current energy mix and technologies. Find out more in our LIFE programme and energy factsheet.
- Publication date
- 16 March 2022
- European Climate, Infrastructure and Environment Executive Agency