Saint-Gobain Produces the First Zero-Carbon Flat Glass

In what the company calls an industry first, Saint-Gobain produced flat glass without carbon. The company says it used 100% recycled glass (cullet) and 100% green energy produced from biogas and decarbonized electricity at its flat glass manufacturing plant in Aniche, northern France.

Saint-Gobain mobilized the network of partners it developed to focus on circularity, using 100% cullet from end-of-life glass from renovation or demolition sites and production off-cuts. The company says the group’s industrial and research teams succeeded in adjusting all of the furnace’s technical parameters to the dual challenge of operating with 100% recycled material and 100% biogas while ensuring the right optical quality of the glass. The pilot production took place for one week. The company says this achievement demonstrates its commitment to reach carbon neutrality by 2050 and complements the group’s investment to build the world’s first carbon-neutral plasterboard plant in Norway. It also further strengthens the group’s position as the worldwide leader in light and sustainable construction and its leading role in helping to build a carbon-neutral economy, according to the company.

Glass recycling is also a focus for the company. SageGlass, Saint-Gobain North America’s electrochromic glass subsidiary, plans to recycle more than 1,000 tons of glass per year for the next five years. Glass will be diverted from landfills and upcycled for future use.

Glass from the manufacturing plant in Faribault, Minn., will be shipped to a third-party processor. Using proprietary technology, the third-party processor will transform it into materials such as cullet used in highway striping and fiberglass insulation and metal for use in mills and foundries.

Ubiquitous Tests First Large-Area Coating of its Solar Technology

Ubiquitous Energy (UE) has successfully fabricated a nearly 5-foot wide glass coated uniformly with UE Power™ transparent solar materials.

The prototype coater will now be replicated to depose transparent solar materials in the company’s first high-volume U.S. manufacturing line, which is expected to operate in 2024. Large-scale deployment of the company’s transparent solar technology can positively impact climate change by increasing the amount of renewable energy generation available by integrating it into everyday surfaces. According to the company, each 5-foot by 10-foot piece of UE Power glass could generate up to 1kWh of electricity daily.

NEXT Delivers Solar Prototype to Walters & Wolf

NEXT Energy Technologies Inc., makers of a proprietary transparent photovoltaic (PV) coating, demonstrated a prototype window wall at Walters & Wolf’s headquarters in Fremont, Calif. NEXT, Walters & Wolf and Glassfab Tempering Services collaborated on the project.

NEXT says its proprietary transparent PV coating transforms commercial windows into energy-producing solar panels by converting infrared and UV light into electricity. With the fully-integrated system, a building can power itself with its windows, which remain transparent with the coating in place.

This prototype is the second of its kind globally and the first in the U.S. The corresponding demo wall is at the Bouygues Construction company headquarters in Paris. The wall consists of 10 transparent photovoltaic windows that supply electricity to power an interactive display and outlet.

Schott Taps into Hydrogen for Climate-Friendly Production

Schott recently launched a pilot project to test the large-scale use of hydrogen in glass production at its headquarters in Mainz.

Schott, along with its partners, invested approximately $750,000 in the effort, including more than $357,000 from the European Regional Development Fund. The company’s largest share of its energy requirements and carbon emissions come from the melting process. The company melts glass at 1,700 degrees Celsius to produce specialty glass for its products. Before the announcement, those melting tanks were heated with natural gas and sometimes electricity.

Research and development will replace natural gas with hydrogen. The ratio of hydrogen in the natural gas/hydrogen mixture will increase gradually up to 35% by volume in three test phases.

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