LIFE PRIME GLASS - Innovative PRImary MEasures for reduction of NOx emissions and Energy consumption by glass furnaces

LIFE12 ENV/IT/001020

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Contact details:

Project Manager: Giampaolo BRUNO
Tel: 390105763943
Fax: 39101564763
Email: giampaolo.bruno@hydragroup.it

Project description:


Container glass is the largest sector of the EU glass industry, representing 60% of total glass production. In 2011, furnaces in the EU produced 20 787 million tonnes of container glass (source FEVE). Europe is the largest producer of container glass, followed by the US and Japan. Italy is the second largest producer in Europe, after Germany, with 3 600 million tonne/year. In Europe, the sector consists of 70 companies with 170 installations, directly employing around 40 000 people.

The melting activities of the glass industry, however, give rise to a number of harmful environmental impacts. Fossil fuel combustion, in particular, produces pollutants and leads to the high-temperature oxidation of nitrogen in the combustion atmosphere (i.e. sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, and nitrogen oxides). Melting also gives rise to particulate matter as a result of volatilisation and the subsequent condensation of volatile batch materials. Gases emitted from the raw materials and the melting substances can also be harmful.


The aim of the project is to test and demonstrate technologies that will significantly improve the environmental impact of the glass industry, focusing mainly on two environmental problems (although also having a positive impact on other aspects): NOX emissions, and high energy consumption. It will allow companies to comply with the new requirements set out in the recent Glass BREF update (2012) and provide future technologies for reducing NOx emissions and energy consumption, as well as input for further BREF revisions.

Although the technologies will only be tested in the container glass sector, they are also applicable to others glass sectors, such as flat glass, tableware glass and special glass.

The main objectives of the project are to:

  • Demonstrate the feasibility of two new technologies designed to significantly reduce, at source, the formation of NOX during the combustion process in glass furnaces;
  • Improve the energy performance of glass furnaces by increasing the heat exchange between exhausted flow gasses and combustion air, and reducing CO2, CO, sulphur oxides and dust emissions, as well as fuel consumption (gas and oil);
  • Demonstrate the advantage of infrared thermography applied to glass furnaces, which allows for quantitative monitoring of the temperature field in the melted glass and in the flame structure;

Expected results: Combustion optimization:

  • Validated combustion optimisation system trialed at two different furnaces;
  • NOx reduction of 30-50% and energy savings of 5-6% in tests with a small regenerator and 1-2% in tests with medium-size regenerator;
  • Port exhausted gas recycling system:
  • Validated port exhausted gas recycling system trialed in a new furnace;
  • NOx reduction of 25-30% and energy savings of 3% with respect to the latest ‘staging’ technology proposed in the BAT.
  • Monitoring improvement:
  • Validated automatic tool for temperature measurements and distribution based on thermography, and a validated automatic tool for CO2 and CO flame distribution. Both will improve the design and performance of modern glass furnaces and allow for the continuous monitoring of the process, which is useful for system control or diagnostic analysis;
  • Proven efficacy of infrared thermography applied to the glass furnace system as an innovative approach to temperature monitoring and combustion analysis. The device will be installed in the combustion chamber. The proposed approach will be fine tuned to measure the temperature distribution on the liquid glass in order to achieve continuous process monitoring.

  • Results


    Environmental issues addressed:


    Industry-Production - Non-metallic minerals
    Climate change Mitigation - GHG reduction in EU ETS sectors
    Climate change Mitigation - Energy efficiency


    clean technology‚  energy saving‚  glass industry‚  emission reduction‚  greenhouse gas

    Natura 2000 sites

    Not applicable



    Coordinator STARA GLASS S.p.A.
    Type of organisation SME Small and medium sized enterprise
    Description Stara Glass was established in Pisa in the early 1950s under the name of STARA (Società Toscana Argille Rottami ed Affini – Tuscan company for clays, refractory scraps and similar). It originally specialised in the demolition, removal and treatment of refractory waste, mostly from industrial furnaces. Today, it focuses on advancing glass furnace design and has therefore widened the scope of its R&D activities. It holds a number of Italian and International patents, mainly relating to the use of new materials and new technological solutions for plant engineering.
    Partners Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro, Italy Università degli Studi di Genova, Italy


    Project reference LIFE12 ENV/IT/001020
    Duration 01-JUL-2013 to 31-MAR -2017
    Total budget 3,130,741.00 €
    EU contribution 1,324,463.00 €
    Project location Piemonte(Italia) Valle d'Aosta(Italia) Liguria(Italia) Lombardia(Italia) Trentino-Alto Adige(Italia) Veneto(Italia) Friuli-Venezia Giulia(Italia) Emilia-Romagna(Italia) Toscana(Italia) Umbria(Italia) Marche(Italia) Lazio(Italia) Campania(Italia) Abruzzo(Italia) Molise(Italia) Puglia(Italia) Basilicata(Italia) Calabria(Italia) Sicilia(Italia) Sardegna(Italia)


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    Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version