Furnace for the Future becomes FurnaceS for the Future

Common strategy, common goal, multiple pathways towards climate neutral glass packaging.

Last year, a FEVE-led sectoral collaboration began to research and evaluate the future of hybrid furnace technologies, exploring all possible paths to decarbonisation like biomass, hydrogen and electrification. This project, put in place with the goal of securing the future of the European glass industry in a circular and climate neutral economy, came to be known as the ‘Furnace for the Future’. 

Transitioning to climate-neutral production requires huge capital and operational expenditures; public sector support and funding is therefore important to helping industries to deploy the new, break-through technologies to be on track to meet the decarbonisation targets for 2050 set by the EU Climate Law. The industry is disappointed that the ‘Furnace for the Future’ concept was not awarded a grant by the EU Innovation Fund, despite achieving very high evaluation scores in terms of innovation, sectoral approach and scalability.

Without the EU grant, the project cannot be pursued as initially planned. However, the industry remains committed to climate neutral production and is now evaluating how to proceed with their decarbonisation efforts. Based on the knowledge and experience gained from preparing the Furnace for the Future application, European glass manufacturers will continue to individually invest in designing breakthrough technology and scaling up electric melting at a commercial scale.

These breakthrough technologies will be the Furnaces of the Future. Throughout Europe, many individual company initiatives are already launched or taking shape to design the Furnaces for the Future. This pathway continues to represent one of the strategic paths to securing not only the future of the European glass industry, but the future of the entire glass packaging value chain (food & drinks, pharma, perfumes, glass recyclers) that depend on it. See more on individual companies’ initiatives on the Glass Hallmark website.

Written by Dominy Jones