Researchers at the Freiberg University of Mining and Technology in Germany are investigating how to melt amber glass with green electricity instead of gas.

At the Institute for Glass and Glass Technology of TU Bergakademie Freiberg (Freiberg University), researchers are studying the parameters that influence the brown colour of glass in an electric pilot melting plant.

Dr Khaled Al Hamdan, Research Associate at the Institute of Glass and Glass Technology and the Project Co-ordinator, said: "Once we have identified these parameters, we can specifically optimise the conditions in the glass melt.

“To this end, we are also investigating alternative raw materials for the formation of the brown colour body."

The production of amber glass in Germany emits around 0.2 million tonnes of CO2.

Brown jars and bottles are mainly used for packaging medicine and light-sensitive food. To produce these jars, a brown colour carrier is mixed into the glass batch.

Up to now, this mixture has been melted in a glass melting tank heated with gas.

A purely electrical heating of the tank is not yet feasible according to the current state of the art, especially regarding the stability of the colour.

The goal of the research project, which officially starts on 1 January 2023, is the stable and reliable production of brown glass with green electricity from renewable sources.

Dr Hamdan said: "The aim is to ensure consistency of colour, a bubble-free glass and stabilisation of the so-called cold batch blankets on the melt, which is important for mitigating radiation losses as well as evaporation of volatile components.”

The research project will be organised and funded by the project management organisation AiF-IGF-Forschungsvereinigung for the next two years.

The research results will benefit supplier companies in the field of glass melting systems and plant technology as well as glass manufacturing companies.