Slovenian glass manufacturer Hrastnik1860 has joined the international H2GLASS hydrogen project.
The aim of the project is to create technology for the glass industry to achieve 100% hydrogen combustion in production facilities.
The project, which is the largest of its kind in Europe and is supported by European funds through the International Horizon project, includes 23 partners from various glass sectors, including manufacturers of packaging, flat glass, and glass fibre.
The project is coordinated by the Norwegian company, Sintef Energy, and the activities will be conducted over a four-year period, starting in January 2023 in Slovenia.
The energy efficiency of glass furnaces, the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the glass industry, reached a plateau of thermodynamic efficiency a decade ago.
In order to successfully decarbonise, glass melting technology must be completely changed.
After the successful pilot use of hydrogen in Hrastnik1860, as part of the international H2GLASS project, the company is working on further steps for the use of hydrogen in industrial glass melting furnaces.
It wants to demonstrate the use of 100% hydrogen in two of its business units by 2024.
Hrastnik1860 CEO Peter Cas said: “This way, we will combine the use of hydrogen with the help of electrically assisted glass melting and completely reduce greenhouse gas emissions from fuel combustion, without significant impacts on the flexibility of production and the lifespan of the glass furnace.
“If the industrial demonstration is successful, combining these technologies will be a key to the decarbonisation of glass production.
“Innovation, especially in sustainable development, enhances the visibility of Hrastnik1860 with existing and potential customers, brand owners, and potential future employees.
"It therefore provides us with an advantage over the competition in the market, enabling an easier transition to carbon neutrality, better utilization of new technologies, and faster digitization.
“Sustainability is intertwined at all levels – from producing exceptional glass products to improving processes and the working environment.”
The H2GLASS project officially began with a meeting this week in Slovenia, where all partners gathered to formulate an action plan.