In 2020 Stoelzle joined forces with the German research association International Partners in Glass Research, aimed to increase and maintain the competitiveness of glass in the packaging industry by research and development.
Sustainability has been a major issue to Stoelzle for years now, and significant investments have been made in R&D, technologies and processes throughout all production and decoration sites in order to achieve important targets in the field of energy reduction and to boost eco-friendly processes and technologies. Therefore, participating in the ZeroCO2Glas has been a great honour for Stoelzle.
R&D project ZeroCO2Glas
The overall goal of the ZeroCO2Glas project is to use an all-encompassing approach to develop a revolutionary glass melting process in connection with a new type of CO2-neutral and energy saving glass melting furnace. The project is funded by the German Ministry for Economy and Climate, BMWK, with a maximum of €8.38 million with a total project volume of approx. €14.94 million. The consortium partners involved are:
The funding announcement refers to increasing energy efficiency, expanding renewable energies and reducing greenhouse gases significantly. In this respect, the ZeroCO2Glas project makes a significant contribution as it relates to the very energy-intensive glass industry, where up to 85% of the energy required in the manufacturing process is used for the melting. The batch mixture that is brought into the furnace must be heated to a temperature of 1,450°C to 1,650°C and converted into glass. In large furnaces, this is mainly done by natural gas-fired burners. ZeroCO2Glas focuses on the melting process, opening up the possibility of saving a particularly large amount of energy and greenhouse gases.
The innovative melting technology is aimed to reduce energy consumption by 15% compared to conventional furnaces, and shall allow CO2-free glass melting. Energy savings will be achieved by using alternative and CO2-free raw materials, avoiding unnecessary humidification of the batch, as well as reducing the dwell time of the glass in the furnace due to a special melting process and the improved new furnace design. The furnace will be set up in Aachen, Germany, as a hybrid furnace with hydrogen-oxy and natural gas-oxy firing, as well as electrical heating.
All approaches have already been tested on a laboratory scale; the project thus represents the second stage of upscaling.
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