LIFE Eco-HeatOx - Demonstration & validation of a heat recovery packaged solution for decreasing oxy-glass factories’ environmental impact

LIFE12 ENV/BG/000756

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Contact details:

Contact person: Hasan SABANOV
Tel: +359 60 14 76 10
Fax: +359 60 14 71 12
Email: hsabanov@sisecam.com

Project description:


Glass is a key element to many industries and in Western Europe, the average annual consumption of glass is estimated to be 18 kg per person. The manufacturing processes of mineral products such as glass, lime, and cement are responsible for 50% of anthropogenic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, more than the chemical and metal industries. Glass production also requires large amounts of energy and leads to the emission of pollutants (SOx and Nox) that can cause acid rain. The European Commission has set targets to be reached by 2020 in order to limit the negative impact of pollutants (COM (2005) 446 final). To achieve this objective, by 2020 SO2 and NOx emissions must decrease by 82% and 60% respectively from 2000 levels. Some steps have been taken by the glass industry in order to address these challenges. A good example of this is the LIFE HotOxyGlass project, which developed a new hot oxy-combustion technique that significantly improves the environmental performance of glass production in terms of energy consumption and GHG emissions. This technology is currently limited to large furnaces producing flat glass, and is not suitable for small and medium furnaces (as the used in tableware glass manufacturing) because of the poor return on investment.


The LIFE Eco-HeatOx project planned to set up a pilot-scale industrial furnace for tableware glass that uses only hot oxygen and natural gas to remove the oil portion used by standard industry furnaces.

The project would focus on validating the technology on tableware glass ahead of its potential transfer to all small- and medium-sized furnaces regardless of the sector so long as the furnace operates above 700°C (which is the case for majority of active furnaces in Europe).

The process would require less equipment than existing technologies thus allowing it to be more broadly applied to small and medium-sized glass furnaces. As well as reducing CO2 and NOx, emissions, it will also cut natural gas and oxygen consumption by preheating those reactants to 450°C using waste heat from furnaces. By saving energy, the technology should reduce the impact of energy-price fluctuations on glass producers. It was expected that reduced additives consumption and overall financial viability would facilitate the transferability of the technology.

The project team aimed to build a pilot plant to demonstrate and validate the technical feasibility in an industrial context. Benefits would be assessed and widely disseminated to owners of small- and medium-sized furnaces.


The LIFE Eco-HeatOx project introduced heat recovery systems for small- and medium-size furnaces using natural gas through an innovative heat-oxy combustion technology for tableware glass furnaces. Under the system, natural gas and oxygen consumption is reduced by preheating the reactants (natural gas and oxygen) up to 550°C with waste heat from furnaces. This system entailed installing a heat-ox burner that is dedicated to work with preheated reactants. The operation was then optimised, improving efficiency by 8% compared to air furnaces. The technology was shown to reduce emissions of CO2 by 23% and NOx by 90%. Moreover, given that it consumes less energy its financial viability is less subject to energy price fluctuations.

The technology was validated on a pilot scale and can be easily replicated, given that the main parameters of the industrial process are used by many other industrial facilities. Specifically, the technology operates at temperatures higher than 700°C, along with the majority of active furnaces in Europe, and can therefore be transferred to any interested small- and medium-size furnaces regardless of the industrial sector. To facilitate this transfer, the project team took part in a wide range of international meetings to present the results of its pilot technology. The team also shared results by networking with potential customers and other projects co-funded by the European Commission, such as the Czech LIFE project HOxyGas – HoxyGas and the Italian project LIFE PRIME GLASS.

Given that glass production is complicated complex process, a range of challenges needed to be overcome. Technological obstacles that were resolved included:

  • The troubleshooting of heat recovery system, monitoring of the recuperator operation and validation of maintenance frequency and resolution strategy;
  • Minimisation of the foaming phenomenon;
  • Monitoring and improvement of the burners operation; and
  • Achieving the targeted air temperature.

Project partner Air Liquid conducted the detailed analysis necessary for the validation of the pilot furnace and its environmental results. The validation of the technology is essential to encourage glass producers to invest in it and ensure its continuation.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Energy - Savings
Industry-Production - Non-metallic minerals


energy saving‚  glass industry‚  emission reduction‚  greenhouse gas‚  industrial process

Target EU Legislation

  • Industry and Product Policy
  • Directive 2010/75 - Industrial emissions (integrated pollution prevention and control) (24.11.201 ...
  • Climate Change & Energy efficicency
  • COM(2011)112 - "A Roadmap for moving to a competitive low carbon economy in 2050" (08.03.2011)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Pasabahce Bulgaria EAD
Type of organisation International enterprise
Description Pasabahce Bulgaria EAD is a glass manufacturer specialising in pressed and blown household glassware articles. It is a subsidiary of Şişecam Group, a Turkish conglomerate operating in the glass and chemicals production sectors.
Partners Air Liquide S.A., France


Project reference LIFE12 ENV/BG/000756
Duration 01-JUL-2013 to 31-DEC -2016
Total budget 4,329,349.00 €
EU contribution 1,689,986.00 €
Project location Associated Bulgaria (BG)(Bulgaria Balgarija) Severozapaden(Bulgaria Balgarija) Severen tsentralen(Bulgaria Balgarija) Severoiztochen(Bulgaria Balgarija) Yugoiztochen(Bulgaria Balgarija) Yugozapaden(Bulgaria Balgarija) Yuzhen tsentralen(Bulgaria Balgarija) Île,de,France(France) Champagne-Ardennes(France) Picardie(France) Haute-Normandie(France) Centre(France) Basse-Normandie(France) Bourgogne(France) Nord-Pas-De-Calais(France) Lorraine(France) Alsace(France) Franche-Comté(France) Pays de la Loire(France) Bretagne(France) Poitou-Charentes(France) Aquitaine(France) Midi-Pyrénées(France) Limousin(France) Rhône-Alpes(France) Auvergne(France) Languedoc-Roussillon(France) Provence-Alpes-Côte d' Azur(France) Corse(France) Guadeloupe(France) Martinique(France) Guyane(France) Réunion(France)


Read more:

Project web site Project's website
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan
Publication: Layman report Layman report (Bulgarian version)
Publication: Layman report Layman report
Publication: Layman report Layman report (French version)
Slides Presentation "Oxycombustion innovation: Reducing Energy Consump ...


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