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A Review of Decarbonization Options for the Glass Industry


The glass industry is part of the energy-intensive industry posing a major challenge to fulfill the CO2 reduction targets of the Paris Climate Agreement. The segments of the glass industry, e.g., container or flat glass, are quite diverse and attribute to different glass products with different requirements to product quality and various process options. To address the challenge of decarbonizing the glass industry, firstly, an inventory of current glass products, processes and applied technologies in terms of energy efficiency and CO2 emissions is conducted. Secondly, decarbonization options are identified and structured according to fuel substitution, waste heat recovery and process intensification. Due to the high share of energy-related CO2 emissions, electrical melting and hydrogen combustion, or a combination of both, are the most promising options to decarbonize the glass industry but further research, design adjustments and process improvements are necessary. Furthermore, electricity and hydrogen prices have to decrease or fossil fuels must become more expensive, to be cost-competitive relative to fossil fuels and respective infrastructures have to be constructed or adjusted. Various heat recovery options have great potential for CO2 savings but can be technically challenging or have not yet been considered for techno-economic reasons.

Funding source: German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) within the “Kopernikus – Power-to-X” project.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways
Countries: Germany

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