The Federal Association of the German Glass Industry (BV Glas) has received confirmation of funding for its HyGlass project from State Minister for Economic Affairs Professor Andreas Pinkwart. BV Glas is partnering with the GWI institute in Essen on the project to conduct research into the suitability of hydrogen as a substitute for fossil fuels in the glass production process.

Hydrogen is one of the most promising candidates in the switch-over from conventional to regenerative energy sources. The Federal Association of the German Glass Industry has been assessing the potential of hydrogen for a long time already in the framework of its decarbonisation strategy. Funding was provided by IN4climate, a German organization that works to develop strategies for a climate-neutral industrial sector.

“We are delighted to have received the funding from IN4climate because it gives us the opportunity to test hydrogen’s suitability for the glass manufacturing industry in real production scenarios,” says Johann Overath, director general of BV Glas. “We will initially be investigating the effects of various hydrogen mix ratios on the combustion process in glass production at a test facility.”

If all energy-dependent processes were switched over to hydrogen, the glass industry could theoretically reduce its carbon footprint in Germany by around 3.3 million tons per year, according to the association.

“Every climate-neutral production project is an important step towards new approaches in glass manufacturing that will help us achieve the long-term aim of net-zero industrial emissions,” says Overath.

In March, BV Glas informed members about the construction of an oxy-fuel hybrid furnace in Germany, a project of the European container glass industry. The glass industry is also involved in five energy-efficiency networks which are part of the German government’s Energy Efficiency Networks initiative, and BV Glas is a partner in the IN4climate initiative.