In February 2022 Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, used 100% biofuel to fire the float glass furnace, as part of an industry trial to find sustainable alternatives to natural gas.
A sustainable biofuel made from organic waste materials powered the St Helens glass manufacturer’s furnace entirely for four days, creating 165,000 sq ft of low carbon float glass. The fuel emits circa 80% less CO2 than traditional natural gas used in the sector.
The trial formed part of a £7.1 million project led by industry research and technology organisation Glass Futures, working under the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy’s Energy Innovation Programme. It aims to demonstrate that the furnace could run safely at full production on the low-carbon fuel without impacting product quality.
Neil Syder, managing director at Pilkington UK, said: “Our world-first trial with Glass Futures proves how biofuel presents a realistic low-carbon alternative to natural gas, which will allow manufacturers to cut thousands of tonnes of CO2 from their production years ahead of alternative zero-carbon options becoming more readily available.”.
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