Research and development for the global glass sector

Industrial Fuel Switching

This project will evaluate the associated technical, economic, and environmental aspects of a range of alternative fuels for glass furnaces such as hydrogen, biofuels, hybrid fuels and electric power. The project will undertake a series of trials to investigate these low carbon fuel scenarios for use across the glass sector, culminating in industrial-scale biofuel trials on commercial container and float lines.  This project encompasses a wide variety of industrial and academic partners and includes an industrial biofuel trial on a full-scale commercial line as well as a lab-scale hydrogen demonstration. The ultimate goal of the project is to assess the potential of these low-carbon fuel technologies to decarbonise the glass industry in accordance with the Government net-zero target by 2050.

Alternative Fuel Switching Technologies for the Glass Sector: Phase 3 FINAL REPORT.

Deployment of End-to-End Process (DEEP) Control

Encirc (a Vidrala company), with bid writing support from Glass Futures, has been awarded Government funding from the Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) to begin its ‘DEEP Control Project’. The industry-leading technology will allow the container producer to optimise its furnaces to run at minimum viable energy, delivering huge carbon reduction levels every year, while also improving productivity and product quality.

The DEEP Control project, which will digitally link the furnaces to Encirc’s 14 production lines, is being carried out in partnership with the UK’s leading specialists in glass, Glass Futures, together with the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Centre, and Siemens.


The EcoLowNOx project, led by Global Combustion Systems (GCS) and supported by Glass Futures is funded as part of the UKRI funding competition: ‘ISCF Transforming foundation industries: Building a resilient recovery’

This cross-sector project, bringing together glass and steel, two high energy-consuming sectors, will develop a new combustion technology for high-temperature furnaces that can reduce nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions and improve furnace thermal efficiency. GCS, supported by project partners Glass Futures, Tata Steel, Liberty Speciality Steels, and the University of South Wales will assess the performance of the GCS ‘Auxiliary Injection’ technology for use in glass and steel furnace scenarios for natural gas as well as a range of renewable and low carbon fuels such as biofuels and hydrogen (for which NOx may be a greater issue).

Transforming Foundation Industries Fast Start projects (UKRI)


The EnviroAsh project brings together partners from across the six Foundation Industries (Glass, Ceramics, Steel, Paper, Cement, and Chemicals), the Energy Sector, Academic partners, and Supply chain partners to identify opportunities to take waste ashes, slags, mineral by-products and filter dusts from across the Foundation Industries and convert them into new raw materials that can not only substitute existing raw materials but also provide cost-effective routes to improve product performance within glass, ceramic and cement applications.

BOS Slag

The BOS Slag project brings together the glass industry and steel industry to look for symbiotic relationships that may enable waste material from the glass industry to be used to increase the value of the steelworks slag.

The project also aims to assess whether the desulphurisation slag, a product that is currently difficult to reuse, can be re-used within the industry by modifying the BOS slag and upgrading its value through use of difficult to dispose of waste materials from the glass and steel industries.


The PowerCO2 project aims to demonstrate feasibility trials of an innovative CO2 transcritical power cycle for industrial waste heat conversion systems and investigate its potential application in heat-intensive industries such as steel and glass plants in the future.

A combined CO2 transcritical compressor and vapour-liquid ejector will be developed and installed in the system to create thermal-to-electrical efficiency of approximately 30% (twice that of conventional techniques).

Catalytic Conversion of Methane to Hydrogen

This project brings together partners from the bulk chemical and glass foundation industries to explore the potential for use of the hydrogen, generated as a by-product from the manufacture of functional carbon nanotube production, in the float glass manufacturing process.

By developing the nanocarbon production process to maximise the capture and purification of hydrogen off-gas, the project will provide a low-cost, low-carbon source of hydrogen for float glass production.