The International Partners in Glass Research (IPGR) produced soda-free glass bottles at one of Vetropack’s melting furnaces.

IPGR is a global research organisation devoted to promoting glass science and technology through collaboration, which is chaired by Vetropack's CEO Johann Reiter.

In collaboration with RWTH Aachen University, IPGR is working on the Zero CO2 project, which aims to create an emissions-free furnace.

In preparation for the project, trials aimed at changing the raw material input were carried out on one of the Vetropack Group's melting furnaces.

As part of this test programme – known as the 'No Soda Trials' – the raw material input mix was modified so that it was no longer necessary to add soda or sand.

The trialled mixture comprised 50% conventional cullet and 50% new raw materials.

In this large-scale trial lasting 10 days, the melting behaviour of the mix was investigated under industrial conditions.

Results included a 10% reduction in CO2 emissions, as well as improved chemical and thermal resistance properties in the glass.

The formability of the bottles from the soda-free melt was also proven successful.

As well as demonstrating the feasibility of this type of melt composition, the trial yielded valuable findings for the design of plant technology in the Zero CO2 project.

For the project, IPGR is constructing a pilot plant near RWTH Aachen that simulates the production process for container glass.

Various experiments will be performed on this pilot plant starting in the second half of 2024.