WASTE HEAT RECOVERY TECHNOLOGIES LARGELY USED IN THE EUROPEAN CONTAINER GLASS INDUSTRY TO OPTIMIZE ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND REDUCE CO2 EMISSIONS

Energy is a significant cost in the glass sector, accounting for well over 20% of total industry costs, with half of all energy being consumed in the melting furnace. With tight margins in a high-volume business, efficiency increases can have a meaningful impact on business performance.

Industrial waste heat is the energy that is generated in the glass production process at furnace flues, and in the product flow during the glass conditioning and forming process, and which is lost. Recovering this waste heat is an important factor for energy optimization and emission reduction in the glass container industry as well as in other energy-intensive industries.

Other techniques are progressively integrated such as Organic Rankine cycles, including the Kalina cycle, that recover and exchange waste heat with potential energy content. Heat recovery to electricity installations already operational across Europe include the 0.5 MWe Organic Rankine Cycle ORC generator at the OI Glass container plant in Villotta di Chions Italy or other heat recovery systems based on Siemens technique and operational in Germany allowing for a 60 % of electricity produced by own waste heat flow

R&D investments are now focused on new emerging technologies for direct heat to power conversion. National Support Programmes such as the one recently launched by BEIS – the UK department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy offer funding support for studies assessing the technical and economic feasibility of new techniques.