£1.5m funding awarded to improve resource efficiency in glass industry

Researchers at UK-based Glass Technology Services will lead a project identifying opportunities to turn waste materials into new feedstocks for products in the glass, ceramic and cement industries. 

An image of glass

Glass Technology Services will lead the EnviroAsh project, one of four projects that together received more than £1.5 million through the Innovate UK 'Transforming Foundation Industries: Fast Start Projects’.

The Innovate UK funding programme supports businesses from a range of foundation industries – those that provide common materials such as steel and glass for manufacturing – working together on common resource and energy efficiency opportunities.

Partners from across six foundation industries – glass, ceramics, steel, paper, cement and chemicals – will collaborate on the EnviroAsh project, as well as from the energy sector, academia and the waste and raw material supply chain.

By identifying suitable waste materials such as waste ashes, slags, mineral by-products and filter dusts, EnviroAsh project researchers hope to find opportunities to convert them into new raw materials for a range of products in the glass, ceramic and cement industries, following on from a current project led by Glass Technology Services, EnviroGlass2.

The project also hopes to explore how these new raw materials might improve product performance in a cost-effective manner and how they may be incorporated into existing products and processes.

Commenting on the project, which aims to start in July 2020, Marlin Magallanes, project lead for EnviroAsh, said, “We are delighted to receive funding to expand upon an established consortium (EnviroGlass2) introducing new partners from others foundation industries. The work we have undertaken can revolutionise glass manufacture by using waste materials and can support the important goal to decarbonise the glass industry.”

The EnviroAsh consortium led by Glass Technology Services includes Sheffield Hallam University, the University of Sheffield, Power Minerals, Glassworks Services, Glass Futures, Encirc, Saica Paper, Drax Power, Wienerberger and Castle Cement.

Glass Technology Services will also support the delivery of the three other projects, providing glass industry access and expertise.

Senior Technologist, Dr Owen McGann from Glass Technology Services, said: “The funding secured by Glass Technology Services and our partners in the transforming future industries call will enable us to continue working with the glass industry in reducing its energy demands and generation of carbon dioxide.

“We will collaborate in four distinct projects which all seek to lead to positive change in the glass industry; identifying routes to convert waste streams into new raw materials, enhancing inspection techniques to reduce costly post processing, developing new techniques for forming glass components with lower energy use or through the direct harvesting of energy from industrial heat emissions.

“We believe, alongside our collaborators, that these projects will directly benefit both the glass industry and wider foundation industries.”