Brian J. Naveken, Manager of Technology and Technical Sales at TECO will provide not one but two presentations at the Glassman Latin America event in Mexico on May 15 & 16.

As well as discussing True Carbon Neutrality in Glass for TECO, he will provide a presentation for the US-headquartered association the Glass Manufacturing Industry Council (GMIC).

Mr Naveken has been on GMIC’s Executive Board for more than 10 years. This presentation will be an update from the GMIC on US Federally Funded Glass Furnace Research and provide an overview of recent changes at the Columbus, Ohio-based trade association, including a recently awarded a $3M Department of Energy grant to research the transformational technology necessary to bring deep decarbonisation to the glass manufacturing industry.

1 Is True Carbon Neutrality achievable for the glass manufacturing industry and, in your opinion, how many years will it take for the industry to achieve this?

Technically yes, but with today’s current technology and quality requirements not economically practical. I’ve seen targets of 2050. I think this still a good goal.

2 Your paper for TECO will investigate alternative fuels for the glassmaking process, particularly hydrogen. How much of a viable energy source is hydrogen for US glassmakers – what makes its an attractive energy source?

Hydrogen combusts cleanly with a very high flame temperature, its sole reaction product being water vapor. Some of the factors that need to be investigated is the impact this has on energy transfer to glass and refractory wear which the industry is in the process of testing. The biggest hurdle in the US will be the cost of hydrogen versus natural gas. Hydrogen, as it relates to the glass industry, costs nine times more than natural gas, and this number is increasing.

3 Are there any disadvantages to hydrogen in terms of infrastructure development and availability, particularly against other industries looking to decarbonise?

Supply and demand, currently supply is low and the demand is increasing. The US government has an initiative to create five regional hydrogen hubs within the United States.

One site that was under consideration had a company that said they would take all the hydrogen produced from this site.

The glass industry is just a small percentage of the pie chart on CO2 emissions and was being overlooked; however, the US Government, through work of the GMIC, has now recognised our industry as a CO2 emitter industry.

4 Looking at your GMIC paper, how important is the recent announcement of federal funding to help the glass industry in its aim to be carbon neutral and what does it mean for the industry?

The Department of Energy (DOE) grant to the GMIC focuses on the all electric melting of reducing glasses, such as amber, and producing quality levels up to rolled solar.

The GMIC project team consists of Celsian US, Toledo Engineering (TECO), Pacific Northwest National Labs and Roman Manufacturing.

5 Finally, there appears to be a lot of activity in the industry at the moment in terms of the decarbonisation journeys being undertaken by various companies and sectors. Is this an interesting time to be in the industry?

Most definitely. Technology advances and innovations are exponential and I can’t wait to see what the future brings.