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Modelling glass furnaces to reduce pollutant emissions

Patent demonstrated at industrial scale to reduce harmful pollutant emissions by half and life cycle carbon dioxide by up to 10%

Of the 54 million tonnes of flat glass produced in the world 13 million is manufactured in Europe. The furnaces that make this glass operate day and night for fifteen years and in Europe the industry employs some 17 000 people. This glass is then key to items such as double glazing, solar panels and car windscreens. The manufacture of glass is extremely energy intensive and as a result generates some pollutant emissions including carbon dioxide.

The University of South Wales has been working with GDFSUEZ in France, Europe’s largest natural gas supplier, and Global Combustion Systems, a Scottish burner manufacturer, and have jointly patented a process that simultaneously reduces emissions and increases efficiency. The patent has been demonstrated at industrial scale to reduce harmful pollutant emissions by half and life cycle carbon dioxide by up to 10%. The partners are in discussions with global glass manufacturers to take up licences to operate the patent on large numbers of their glass furnaces.

“It is extremely exciting to be on the verge of being able to make a significant impact on the environment whilst securing employment in Europe.” Professor Wilcox, University of South Wales

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