A research project aims to develop CO2-neutral container glass production.

The ZeroCO2-Glas project is a consortium involving experts from the industry including glass manufacturer Wiegand-Glas, RWTH University, furnace technology specialist Horn Glass Industries as well as the International Partners in Glass Research (IPGR).

They aim to develop a new type of hydrogen-fired glass melting tank and corresponding glass-chemistry with the target of a completely CO2-neutral container glass production.

The actual glass production takes place in a glass melting tank, namely the melting of the glass from the raw material mixture and from the melting of recycling cullet.

Melting is the most energy-intensive step in the glass production process.

To achieve CO2 neutrality, R&D work must be carried out on the following points:

  • Carbonate-free raw materials and their conditioning to the batch.
  • Operation of the glass melting tank as a highly flexible hybrid tank with electricity and hydrogen
  • Technical design of the glass melting tank based on a revolutionary submerged feeding approach.

The aim of the project is to create a prototype glass melting tank with a processing capacity of approximately 2.4 t/day.

This is to be scaled up to industrial scale after successful completion of the project applied for funding by combining physical and computer-based modelling results.

The outstanding feature of the ZeroCO2-Glass project is that CO2 is completely avoided both on the energy input side and on the raw material side.

In comparison, other projects aim exclusively at CO2 avoidance on the energy input side.

The project is funded by Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK) as part of the 7th Energy Research Programme.

The consortium partners will work together between 2022 and 2024. The full list of partners are:

  • RWTH Aachen University- Chair of Glass and Glass-Ceramic (Institute of Mineral Engineering - (GHI)
  • RWTH Aachen University- Department for Industrial Furnaces and Heat Engineering (IOB)