Hallam researchers secure role in £7m project to decarbonise glass manufacturing

Researchers from Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) have secured a role in a worldwide group of organisations who have received a £7million government contract to develop sustainable methods of glass manufacturing.

The funding is part of a new £7.1 million contract the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has granted Glass Futures, a partnership of a number of leading organisations from around the world, including SHU, who are working to drive innovation in glass making.

The aim of the grant is to investigate sustainable alternative fuel sources and innovative scenarios to decarbonise the glass manufacturing process, in line with the Government’s commitment to reducing net carbon dioxide emissions to zero by 2050.

Researchers in SHU’s Materials and Engineering Research Institute (MERI) will support the project through research, development and innovation across various themes and groups within the project team.

Paul Bingham, professor of glass and ceramics at SHU, said: “We’re delighted to be part of this exciting research project to support the glass industry to become more sustainable.

“Current glass-making techniques emit a huge amount of CO2. By working together on this innovative project, we aim to drastically reduce the carbon emissions of one of our heavy industries and take a step towards tackling the climate crisis.”

Richard Katz, Director of Glass Futures said: “While the UK glass sector has made progress by more than halving its emissions over the past 50 years, and its products continue to greatly contribute to energy savings through energy-efficient window and glazing systems, insulation in the built environment, wind turbine blades and an array of high-tech communications devices, there remains an urgent need to accelerate our efforts towards delivering innovative technologies that will advance us towards the net zero goal.”

The Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Minister of State at BEIS, said: “Reducing emissions from homes and industry is a key part of our work to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050. This innovative project by Glass Futures is an exciting development and could make a significant impact on our net zero ambitions.”

The study and subsequent report will highlight what can and what cannot be done on different production platforms in glass manufacturing and will influence the most suitable routes for industry and government to work across in delivering the range of options best suited to decarbonise a given site.

The study is due to be completed in March 2021.