Energy Department Awards $11.8 Million to Improve U. S. Glass Industry Energy Efficiency
October 23, 2000The age-old trade of glass making will get a helping hand from 21st century technology under a $11.8 million government-industry partnership to reduce energy use and environmental impacts in the U.S. glass industry, Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson announced today.
"The glass industry spends more than $1.3 billion each year on energy for manufacturing processes. The development of more energy efficient and environmentally friendly technologies will save energy and strengthen our national energy security," said Secretary of Energy Bill Richardson.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has selected four firms to participate with an Energy Department national laboratory in a three-year program of cooperative technology research and development agreements that will enhance the economic competitiveness of the nation's glass industry. Under the cooperative agreements to be negotiated with the selected companies, the private sector cost share will be a minimum of 50 percent.
The U.S. glass industry faces a number of challenges, including pressure from foreign competition and alternative materials. The industry must find ways to reduce manufacturing costs while maintaining quality and protecting the environment. The glass industry is also an important segment of the U.S. economy, employing more than 150,000 people in skilled jobs and generating more than 21 million tons of consumer products each year with an estimated value of $22 billion. Glass offers several advantages over other materials including exceptional chemical durability, multi-faceted optical properties and complete recycling capability.
In addition to the lead organizations for each project, other industrial firms, universities and DOE national laboratories will participate as partners in the research and development effort. These include Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.; CertainTeed Corporation, Blue Bell, Pa; The Fenton Art Glass Co., Williamstown, W.Va.; Libbey, Inc.,Toledo, Ohio; Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn., Mississippi State University, Starkville, Miss.; Osram Sylvania, Inc, Exeter, N.H.; Owens-Corning, Granville, Ohio; Purdue University, West Lafayette, Ind; Sandia National Laboratory-Livermore, Calif.; and Vetrotex America, Wichita Falls, Texas. The following projects were selected for negotiations leading to awards:
Energy Research Company, Staten Island, N.Y.
Measurement and control of glass feedstocks
Total cost (52 percent industry shared): $3,031,568
DOE contribution: $1,439,000
Gallo Glass Company, Modesto, Calif.
Monitoring and control technologies in glass melting furnaces
Total cost (50 percent industry shared): $2,100,000
DOE contribution: $1,050,000
PPG Industries, Pittsburgh, Pa.
Development of process optimization strategies, models and chemical databases for on-line coatings of "float glass." Float glass is flat glass used for residential and commercial construction, automotive uses, mirrors, instrumentation gauges and furniture such as table tops and cabinet doors.
Total cost (50 percent industry shared): $3,000,000
DOE contribution: $1,500,000
Techneglas, Inc., Columbus, Ohio
Development and validation of an Advanced Multiphase Glass Furnace Model that can completely characterize the interaction between glass melt and combustion space. The model also provides the opportunity to mimic furnace conditions with software to predict process changes.
Total cost (50 percent industry shared): $2,728,435
DOE contribution: $1,365,000
The Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Ill.
In-house recovery and recycling of glass from glass manufacturing waste
Total cost (50 percent industry shared): $1,000,000