Actions Against Global Warming
A significant amount of energy is used to melt glass.
Therefore, we consider it our duty to further improve the energy efficiency of our melting furnaces.
Oxy-fuel Firing Glass Melting Furnaces
Compared to air combustion furnaces, oxy-fuel firing furnaces remove more excess nitrogen. This has reduced the amount of exhaust gas (exhaust heat) and consequently lowered fuel and energy consumption. It has also reduced emissions of CO2 and thermal nitrogen oxides (NOx).
In 1993, we installed the first oxy-fuel firing glass melting furnace in Japan. This technology has now been installed in almost all of our furnaces.
Fuel Conversion in Glass Melting Furnaces
We have been switching to fuels with less environmental impact to operate our glass melting furnaces. We have switched from heavy oil to LPG and ultimately to natural gas and city gas, thus reducing CO2 emissions.
Increasing Electricity Usage in the Glass Melting Process
In the melting process, both gas and electricity are used. In electric heating, unlike that using gas fuel, electrodes are directly inserted into the molten glass, resulting in excellent thermal conductivity of the glass. Also, in heating with electricity, the amount of exhaust gas (exhaust heat) can be substantially reduced compared with that generated by heating with fossil fuels. Thus, if electricity usage is increased in percentage terms, energy savings and reductions in CO2 emissions can be achieved.
We are continuing with group-wide activities aimed at increasing electricity as an energy source used to melt glass.