“World first” as the hydrogen used to make glass

Liverpool Underground Mayor Steve Rotheram alongside a hydrogen furnace.

In what is hailed as a world first, hydrogen was used in the manufacture of window glass.

The results of a pilot project in England’s Liverpool City area were released a week after the British government unveiled its hydrogen strategy.

Glassmaker Pilkington replaced natural gas with hydrogen at its plant in St Helens to make window glass, also known as float glass.

The HyNet Industrial Fuel Switching project was led by Progressive Energy with hydrogen supplied by BOC as it was designed to ensure that low carbon hydrogen can replace natural gas.

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Pilkington UK Managing Director Matt Buckley said the HyNet project “will be an important step in supporting our decarbonization activities”.

“This large-scale, multi-week production trial has successfully demonstrated that it is possible to use hydrogen to safely and efficiently power a float glass plant. We now look forward to the HyNet concept becoming a reality.

Steve Rotheram, Mayor of the Liverpool City metropolitan area, said: “Just as we led the first industrial revolution, our region is also leading the green.

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“HyNet has the potential to be a transformative project for our region, reducing carbon emissions in the Northwest by 25% and helping us take a big step towards our climate goals.

David Parkin, Director of Progressive Energy and Project Director of HyNet North West, added that “the industry is vital to the economy, but is difficult to decarbonize. HyNet is focused on removing carbon from industry through a range of technologies, including carbon capture and locking, and the production and use of hydrogen as a low carbon fuel.

He added that he believed the switch to green energy could create “more than 6,000 new permanent jobs, putting the region on track to become the world leader in clean energy innovation.”

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Perry Perrie

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