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Saint-Gobain Achieves Flat Glass Production Using 30% Hydrogen

Saint-Gobain has carried out a test production of flat glass using more than 30% hydrogen during research and development trials at the Herzogenrath site in Germany.

What this means

With this, Saint-Gobain has proven the technical feasibility of manufacturing flat glass with a significant proportion of hydrogen, which will complement other decarbonized energy sources and will reduce the site's direct CO2 emissions (scope 1) by up to 70 percent, say officials.

How it's done

This technical feat was made possible by an R&D program launched in 2022, drawing on the company's expertise in combustion, glass quality, ceramic refractories materials, and industrial furnace design, according to the company. The program in question is carried out in collaboration with the independent German laboratory Gas and Heat Institute Essen e.V., a specialist in industrial gas technologies, and financially supported by the Land of North Rhine-Westphalia to the amount of about $4 million.

These industrial tests in Herzogenrath have been preceded on a laboratory scale by trials in two research centers in France: Saint-Gobain Research Paris in Aubervilliers and Saint-Gobain Research Provence in Cavaillon.

Analysis of the data from these tests will make it possible to deploy the use of hydrogen in the Group's floats in the decades to come when low-carbon hydrogen is available in sufficient quantities. This innovation marks a milestone in Saint-Gobain's roadmap toward carbon neutrality in 2050, say company officials. It complements R&D initiatives on the electrification of glass melting and notable achievements, such as the world's first zero-carbon production of flat glass at Aniche in May 2022, thanks to 100-percent cullet and 100-percent decarbonized energy (biogas).