Italian collaboration on hydrogen fuel
A working group comprising Snam, RINA, Bormioli Luigi, Bormioli Rocco, STARA GLASS, Università degli Studi di Genova, Stazione Sperimentale del Vetro, IFRF Italia, SGRPRO and RJC SOFT has begun a collaboration aimed at reducing emissions in the glass industry through hydrogen.
The manufacture of glass objects, of which Italy is the second-largest producer in Europe with over 5 million tonnes/year, is energy-intensive and difficult to power with electricity.
To this end, the 'Divina' project (Decarbonisation of the Glass Industry: Hydrogen and New Equipment), co-ordinated by Snam, RINA and Bormioli, aims to reduce emissions in the glass melting stage, which accounts for more than 50% of total energy consumption throughout the production process.
Snam CEO Marco Alverà said: "Hydrogen will play a key role in decarbonising energy-intensive sectors such as glass production in order to meet domestic and European climate targets. This project complements what we are already doing in the steel, rail transport and ceramics sectors."
Ugo Salerno, President and CEO of RINA, commented: "Following the first test with a mix of natural gas and 30% hydrogen in steel processing that we carried out in May, our expertise and laboratories are also being used for the ‘Divina’ project, an important milestone towards the decarbonisation of another of the most significant sectors in the Italian economy."
Vincenzo Di Giuseppantonio, CEO of the Bormioli Luigi Group, remarked: "The partnership with leading players in the energy sector, the glass industry and academia makes the Divina project a sound and concrete proposal for a path to green transition and sustainability."
The initiative will make it possible, in the short to medium term, to assess the results of introducing an increasing proportion of hydrogen blended with natural gas into existing melting furnaces operating under regular production conditions.
Testing significant quantities of hydrogen on operational furnaces will be an opportunity to evaluate the compatibility of hydrogen combustion with glass material in real industrial production contexts following appropriate testing in laboratories.
The project will also define and subsequently optimise the design rules for future furnaces, which can guarantee the best performance even with higher hydrogen percentages up to 100%.
Image: Hydrogen and gas mixtures for glass melting