Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage (CCUS)
Carbon Capture, Utilization, and Storage is the process of capturing carbon dioxide emissions from sources such as glass furnaces and either storing it or utilizing it to prevent it from entering the atmosphere. Potential utilization of CO₂ includes construction materials, food-grade applications, production of syngas with H₂, chemical feedstocks, and many others. Storage includes transporting, injecting, and sequestering CO₂ emissions, isolating the CO₂ from the Earth's atmosphere in perpetuity.
Why is it Important?
Global warming is caused by increased levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere.
The cause is mainly due to human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels. In 2015, the Paris Agreement lays out a long term strategy for the world to mitigate and adapt to climate change through mitigation, adaptation, cooperation, and transparency. The goal of the agreement is to limit average global temperature rise to below 1.5 °C above pre-industrial levels. One of the key ways to achieve this goal is to mitigate GHGs including CO₂, acid, gases, and NOx through air pollution control and carbon capture technologies, particularly in energy-intensive industrial sectors such as glass production.
The European Union-Emission Trading System (EU-ETS) governs the rules for carbon credits in the EU. To achieve the overall GHG emissions reduction target for 2030, the sectors covered by the EU-ETS must reduce their emissions by 45% compared to 2005 levels. The system works under a ‘cap and trade’, allowing a total amount of emissions to be emitted by all power and manufacturing installations. Through this, emission allowances can be bought or received under the cap amount, allowing flexibility while ensuring emissions are cut to an appropriate level.
Decarbonization in the Glass Industry
The production of glass is an energy intensive sector resulting in large quantities of CO2 emissions. High temperatures required for melting of raw materials couple with the sensitivity changes in product quality pose a major challenge for decarbonization in the glass industry.
Glass manufacturers worldwide have implemented processes to decrease CO2 emissions, including use of recycled glass, waste heat recovery, and improvements to furnace design. According to Glass Alliance Europe, these improvements resulted in a reduction of 69% of CO2 emissions per ton of melted glass.
Recently, glass manufacturers have committed to carbon neutral and other green initiatives to meet decarbonization goals and mandates. A limited number of decarbonization solutions, such as alternative fuel sources, have been studied and implemented for the glass industries. However, these solutions have a direct effect on glass quality and furnace operations.