NSG Group announced it plans to test the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel for the float furnace to manufacture glass at its Greengate Works in St. Helens, U.K. A global first, the initiative is part of a project managed by HyNet, a consortium of industries in the North West of England, aimed at reducing carbon emissions from industry, homes and transport.

NSG Group will investigate whether hydrogen can be used to wholly or partly replace the natural gas and oil that are the standard fuels for the glass making industries. If all of the natural gas can be replaced with hydrogen this would reduce emissions of CO2 by around 80%.

The work is supported by £5.2m of funding from the UK government under the Industrial Fuel Switching Scheme with first trials planned for November 2020.

By 2030, NSG targets to reduce absolute carbon emissions by 21% compared to the 2018 level. Over the past three years, NSG has reduced CO2 emissions per production unit by 5% with the ongoing measures to reduce energy usage and CO2 emissions.

By reducing CO2 emissions from business operations and supplying innovative glass products, NSG will continue its contributions to mitigating climate change risks, according to the announcement.