Glass-making technology could save industry £millions

A new way of reducing the Nitrogen Oxide (NOx) emissions produced by the glass-making industry has been developed by experts at the University of South Wales (USW) together with industry partners.

Glass-making companies could save £millions each year by installing a newly developed combustion technique.

Conventional methods of firing glass-melting furnaces have traditionally produced large amounts of NOx, which is damaging to the environment.

EU legislation now says that steps must be taken to reduce emissions produced by such furnaces that operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, for 15-20 years at a time.

Previously, curtailing emissions would have meant companies spending £millions on adding catalysts to their systems to clean the flue gases, but USW experts and their partners have developed a different approach to firing a furnace so that far less NOx is created.

Incoming EU emissions limits can then be met while reducing or eliminating the use of flue gas clean-up. The quality and quantity of the melted glass produced remains unchanged.

USW has worked with France’s Engie and Scotland’s Global Combustion Systems (GCS) to develop the new firing technique. Auxiliary fuel injectors are now being installed by GCS for one of the world’s leading container manufacturers.

CK Tan, of USW’s Faculty of Computing Engineering and Science, said: “The high level of emissions produced by glass manufacture has long been a costly issue for the industry.

“The new combustion technique that we have developed with our industry partners marks a real opportunity for companies to meet EU regulations and save £millions.”