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2020-10-23 Article


VERCANE, the first R&D program aiming at glassmaking process decarbonization

The consortium formed by ENGIE, Fives, Saverglass and Verescence has launched its R&D program called «VERCANE: fusion de VERre CArboNEutre (carbon neutral glass melting). The purpose of this ambitious program is to support the industrial glass sector in its efforts to decarbonize glass production by evaluating energy sources for a sustainable industrial process.

An answer to the challenges of the decarbonization of the industry, compliant with “France Relance” recovery plan

The glassmaking sector, one of the flagships of the French industry, is facing the challenge of carbon neutrality. CO2 emissions in this sector are mainly produced by the glass melting process, accounting for 70-80% of the total emissions of a production site, in the sector which has more than 80 furnaces spread over 50 sites in France. Fully in line with objectives of the 2050 low-carbon strategy plan for the French industry, VERCANE aims to develop sustainable scenarios of energy transition by designing solutions based on decarbonised energy sources.

For this purpose, VERCANE studies different carbon neutral energy systems that could be compatible with the glass melting process: hydrogen, bioresources and process electrification. On the other hand, VERCANE explores possibilities to adapt existing melting furnaces to new energy sources.

A first phase of 18 months, part of an ambitious program

Targeting viability and sustainability, the first phase of the project takes also into account available territorial and local resources and transport solutions to the production site. The project will ultimately include concrete case studies at production sites of Saverglass and Verescence in view of preparing the deployment of large-scale industrial demonstrators.

The role of the four VERCANE project partners:

  • ENGIE, through its ENGIE Lab CRIGEN Research Center and ENGIE Solutions, energy partner, is in charge of project coordination, energy vectors analysis, numerical simulation studies and will ensure the prospective vision of the energy context.
  • Saverglass and Verescence, industrial partners, bring to the project real case studies on their industrial sites, and will contribute to the realization of technical work packages involving their know-how of glass production in melting furnaces.
  • Fives, technological partner, is in charge of analyzing the challenges related to the technological retrofit of furnaces to new carbon-free energy sources and will provide its know-how in the design and implementation of these processes.


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