French companies Verallia and Air Liquide have partnered to implement a customised solution to reduce CO₂ emissions and energy consumption at Verallia’s glass plant in Pescia, Italy.

The solution provided by Air Liquide combines the supply of oxygen and the reuse of the heat available from the glass production process.

In the long-term contract, Air Liquide will build and operate for Verallia a new generation on-site oxygen production unit in Pescia. The oxygen produced by this unit will replace the air usually injected into the furnace, allowing the glass to melt by oxycombustion and improving the efficiency of the process.

In addition, Air Liquide will supply its HeatOx proprietary technology to recover the heat emitted by the glass furnace. The company reports that this will further reduce the amount of energy needed to produce glass.

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The global solution provided by Air Liquide will reportedly significantly contribute to an 18% reduction in CO₂ emissions, which is targeted by Verallia for its Pescia glass plant.

In addition, the new generation on-site oxygen production unit to be built and operated by Air Liquide will be equipped with a unique cryogenic process. It will also be 10% more energy efficient than the previous generation. Producing oxygen onsite avoids its transport in liquid form by trucks.

Air Liquide Group vice-president and executive committee member Matthieu Giard comments: “This partnership will allow Verallia to reduce both the energy consumption and environmental footprint of its glass production in Pescia. By leveraging our deep knowledge of our clients’ production processes, it illustrates our ability to combine several innovations so as to develop tailor-made solutions with them.

“This collaboration is in line with our ADVANCE strategic plan, which aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 while supporting our customers in their decarbonisation process.”

In 2022, Verallia reported a 24.5% revenue growth for the first nine months of fiscal 2022 (FY22) to €2.51bn ($2.47m).