Hrastnik1860 has successfully conducted industrial production of premium glass bottles using hydrogen as a prime energy source.

With over 60% hydrogen content used for glass melting, Hrastnik1860 has reduced the direct carbon footprint of the melting process by more than 30% compared to standard procedures.

The achievement addresses past concerns that the production of such quality glass might not be feasible and economically viable with high proportions of hydrogen as an energy source.

Hrastnik1860 has now dispelled these concerns through its own development, confirming that replacing natural gas, the traditional energy source in the production process, is possible and entirely within existing quality requirements.

Tilen Sever, Director of Development, Technology, and Innovation, said: "Tilting the hydrogen content in the mixture with natural gas beyond 50% significantly affects the combustion characteristics of the mixture. However, we have successfully used hydrogen on individual burners up to 100%, with an average usage of 62% for melting.

"The combustion efficiency when using hydrogen was similar to that of natural gas. Crucially, hydrogen had no significant impact on the clarification and discoloration of the glass, allowing us to maintain product quality within existing technological limits.”

Steklarna Hrastnik has long observed increased interest from end consumers in sustainable products, especially those complementing the quality and aesthetic appearance of glass bottles.

Matevž Fazarinc, Executive Director of Steklarna Hrastnik, said: "Reducing the carbon footprint has been one of our central strategic goals for a long time.

“Prior to the use of hydrogen, other steps were taken, such as reducing the proportion of natural gas consumption in favour of electricity produced from renewable sources (photovoltaics), including a significant portion from our own production.

“Now, we are adding hydrogen to demonstrate that we can truly introduce alternatives in production processes to reduce the use of fossil fuels."

The company plans to follow the successful commercial production of glass packaging using hydrogen in 2024 with new production series for strategic partners.

Initial estimates suggest that the share of low-carbon glass packaging produced with hydrogen and other sustainable technologies could reach up to 15% of Hrastnik1860's total production in the coming years.