The Federal Association of the German Glass Industry (BV Glas) has received state confirmation of funding for its hydrogen glass (HyGlass) project.

BV Glas is partnering with the GWI institute in Essen to conduct research into the suitability of hydrogen as a substitute for fossil fuels in the glass production process.

Hydrogen is one of the most promising candidates in the switch-over from conventional to regenerative energy sources.

BV Glas has been assessing the potential of hydrogen for a long time in the framework of its decarbonisation strategy.

“We are delighted to have received the funding from IN4climate because it gives us the opportunity to test hydrogen’s suitability for the glass manufacturing industry in real production scenarios,” said Dr Johann Overath, Director General of BV Glas.

“We will initially be investigating the effects of various hydrogen mix ratios on the combustion process in glass production at a test facility,” said Overath.

Ideally, 100% of natural gas could be substituted with hydrogen. Then the findings will be transferred to real facilities.

If all energy-dependent processes were switched over to hydrogen, the glass industry could theoretically reduce its carbon footprint in Germany by around 3.3 million tonnes per year.

“Every climate-neutral production project is an important step towards new approaches in glass manufacturing that will help us achieve the long-term aim of net-zero industrial emissions,” added Overath.

In March BV Glas informed about the construction of an oxy-fuel hybrid furnace in Germany, a project of the European container glass industry.

The glass industry is also involved in five energy-efficiency networks which are part of the German government’s Energy Efficiency Networks initiative, and BV Glas is a partner in the IN4climate initiative.

North Rhine-Westphalia State Minister for Economic Affairs, Professor Andreas Pinkwart, confirmed the funding at an official event.