‘Furnace of the Future’ could herald new era in climate-neutral glass packaging

EUROPEAN glass manufacturers have collaborated on a project to build what is described as the first large scale hybrid electric furnace to run on 80% renewable electricity.

Ardagh Glass has volunteered to build the ‘Furnace of the Future’ in Germany.

The innovation will replace current fossil-fuel energy sources and has been tipped to cut COemissions by 50%.

20 glass container producers have provided resources to work on and fund a pilot project to prove the concept.

“We are extremely proud to announce this joint-industry project”, said Michel Giannuzzi, president of FEVE. “The hybrid technology is a step-change in the way we produce and will enable us to significantly reduce the carbon footprint of glass packaging production. The move marks an important milestone for the glass sector in implementing our decarbonisation strategy.”

Ardagh Group revealed the furnace will be built in 2022, with an assessment of first results planned for the following year.

Martin Petersson, CEO of Ardagh Group, Glass Europe added, “With this new technology we are embarking on the journey to climate-neutral glass packaging, and ensuring the long-term sustainability of manufacturing. We aim to demonstrate the viability of electric melting on a commercial scale, which would revolutionise the consumer glass packaging market.”

By adopting a sectoral approach, the industry hopes to gain the support of the European Commission through the ETS Finance for Innovation Fund Programme.