Batch composition - The pursuit of reduced emissions

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The project was supported by the majority of the UK glass container industry, and around 20,000 tonnes of glass was melted during the five industrial trials carried out during the project. As might be expected, the project also attracted the interest and support of a number of raw materials suppliers. Class science has developed current formulations to represent the most economic source of oxides for the desired compositions. The project was also timely as the energy prices increased and the market shifted. The project showed that it is possible to reformulate the container glass composition to give a reduction in melting temperature, while still retaining the desirable properties of the glass. There are many benefits to be gained from reformulating glass composition such as reductions in energy, emissions, cost and an increase in furnace life. However, as with any major change, the logistics of any batch change needs to be carefully considered. Certainly, it is difficult to envisage the use of the most promising glasses identified in practice as the numbers of materials employable on site are often limited and the project showed that, while possible solutions do exist, these may be currently economically difficult to take forward. The project enabled GTS to demonstrate that the introduction of fluxes, such as spodumene, have been shown to reduce energy usage by 1.2% and reduce the crown temperature by 30°C. Multiple batch changes have shown to give an 82°C reduction in melting temperature, which brings a 4.8% energy saving. Trials carried out did illustrate the savings were consistent with the modelling work, which is encouraging and it is fair to finish by commenting that the UK glass industry has a significant number of potential new glasses if current situation shifts to favour innovation in glass composition.

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In order to be energy efficient, environmentally friendly and sustainable, commercial glass production in the 21st century must evolve and some of the technologies and methodologies that will make this possible are discussed. Development and implementation of energy-efficient and environmentally friendly soda-lime-silica glass compositions are discussed in terms of environmental and legislative requirements; the reduction of melting energies and atmospheric emissions; glass properties and the effects of individual glass components and raw materials; and technologies that can help glassmakers to meet new requirements. This in-depth treatment provides detailed step-by-step analysis, with appropriate examples, of the opportunities for compositional reformulation, new raw materials, new melting and abatement technologies, and some of the practical and economic effects that such changes will provide.
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The development of container glass compositions for environmental benefit through lower melting temperatures is discussed. A number of reformulated container glass compositions have been developed with reductions of up to 115°C in melting temperature and an estimated 20-40% in thermal NO x generation. It is estimated that even relatively small compositional changes can result in significant reductions in thermal NO x generation. The new compositions offer a range of options for optimization through further development, from relatively simple substitutions to multiple component changes.