Breaking New Ground: World’s First Demonstration Test of Glass Production Using Ammonia as Fuel in a Live Production Furnace Unveiled

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AGC Achieves Milestone: World’s First Demonstration Test of Ammonia as Fuel for Glass Production

AGC, the renowned global manufacturer of glass, chemicals, and high-tech materials, has achieved a groundbreaking milestone by successfully conducting the world’s first demonstration test of glass production using ammonia as fuel. This momentous achievement took place in an actual production furnace under the project titled “Technology Development for the Utilization and Production of Ammonia as Fuel.” The project is being carried out under the auspices of the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) as a commissioned project.

Joint Collaboration for Technological Advancement

The project represents a collaborative effort between AGC, Taiyo Nippon Sanso Corporation, the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, and National University Corporation Tohoku University. The demonstration test involved the utilization of an ammonia-oxygen burner with low NOx combustion technology developed by Taiyo Nippon Sanso. This cutting-edge technology was applied to the glass melting furnace responsible for architectural glass production at the AGC Yokohama Technical Center. The objective was to assess the impact on glass quality, furnace materials, as well as the control of flame temperature, furnace temperature, and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions.

Paving the Way for Future Applications

Looking ahead, the project aims to conduct further demonstration tests under diverse conditions and expand the scope of burner tests and demonstrations at other AGC sites. Through these comprehensive assessments, the goal is to fully integrate ammonia combustion technology into glass melting furnaces, ensuring its seamless adoption. AGC also envisions exploring the potential application of this innovative technology in other industries, such as steel and aluminum, with the aim of significantly reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the overall materials production process.

Successful Demonstration Test

During the two-day demonstration test, which took place from June 18th to 19th, 2023, two specially developed burners by Taiyo Nippon Sanso were installed in the glass melting furnace used for architectural glass production at the AGC Yokohama Technical Center. The test confirmed the viability of ammonia as fuel, showcasing its advantages compared to conventional methods utilizing heavy oil. Critical aspects such as glass quality, furnace materials, flame temperature control, furnace temperature, and NOx emissions were meticulously evaluated. Importantly, the test demonstrated that the NOx concentration in the exhaust gas remained below environmental criterion values while effectively maintaining the required temperature within the glass melting furnace.

Future Plans and Ambitions

AGC has charted a comprehensive plan for 2023, which involves continued technical verification using ammonia as fuel under various conditions, utilizing the glass melting furnace at the AGC Yokohama Technical Center. In subsequent years, scaled-up burner tests and demonstrations will be conducted at other AGC sites, leading to the full integration of ammonia combustion technology by 2026 or beyond, once its scope of application has been determined.

Source: AGC Glass Europe with additional information added by Apazone

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