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Major Carbon Trust Award for Glass Technology Services

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Friday 23 July 2004

Glass Technology Services Ltd (GTS) has been awarded £192,019, one of the biggest grants given by The Carbon Trust, towards a project which will reduce energy consumption and lower CO2 emissions by the reformulation of container glass composition.

Glass-making is an energy-intensive process, with glass-melting furnaces operating at temperatures in excess of 15000C. Glass Technology Services, the independent technical arm of British Glass, aims to reduce the melting temperature of glass without altering forming properties or quality.

Theoretically, the melting temperature of glass can be reduced by optimising the raw material mix fed into the furnace in the production process. A 1000C reduction should feasibly significantly reduce energy consumption.

Dave Dalton, General Manager of Glass Technology Services said: "Carried through the whole container industry, lowering the melting temperature of glass by this amount will result in savings of CO2 in excess of 50,000 tonnes per year, with the extra knock-on benefit of an anticipated 30% lowering of NOx emissions."

High speed bottle manufacture requires very precise control of certain glass properties, in particular, the viscosity at the forming temperature. Reduced melting temperatures can be achieved quite easily by increasing the proportion of fluxing agents in the raw material mix. However, this route produces unacceptable changes to the chemical and physical properties of glass. The challenge addressed by this project is to reduce the melting temperature without impairing any glass forming properties.

The whole of the UK container glass-making sector is working together on this project to reduce emissions and bring about environmental benefit, as well as hoping to lower melting costs and reduce capital investment (ie longer living furnaces).

The project will involve a series of desk and lab-based activities finally culminating in a full scale industrial trial at a commercial glass-making plant.

Further information can be obtained from:

Dave Dalton or Martyn Marshall
Glass Technology Services
9 Churchill Way
Sheffield S35 2PY
Tel: 0114 290 1801
Fax: 0114 290 1851
E-mail:  d.dalton@glass-ts.com   or  m.marshall@glass-ts.com

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