This week British Glass hosted a meeting of the Glass Link Group to present the findings of its recent study into uses and markets for glass plant filter dust – and support balanced and evidenced-based regulation of glass manufacturing emissions and waste.
When the sulphur dioxide from glass furnace exhaust gases is captured a dust is generated, which is collected by filters. The majority of this filter dust can usually be recycled back into the glass furnace – but the rest must be safely disposed of. Balancing sulphur dioxide emissions and filter dust production is a challenge that the industry has been looking at as part of a two year review of glass plant emission regulation.
As part of this work British Glass’ Environment and Energy Committee commissioned Andrew Gadd of Link2Energy, an expert in industrial symbiosis, to explore potential uses for this dust – for example as a raw material for other industries.
British Glass senior technical adviser Mark Pudner said:
“There are lots of examples of one industry’s waste being another’s valuable input. Finding these areas of symbiosis is an important part of creating a circular economy – something the glass industry is actively pursuing on many fronts, for example through action on recycling and our work on the EU funded FISSAC project.
“Sadly this study wasn’t able to identify a use or market for glass factory filter dust - yet. But the results do help the regulators to establish workable, evidence-based policies for regulation of waste and emissions – and that helps the glass industry.”
The Glass Link Group – which brings together the local authority and Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) representatives who set emissions and waste regulations for the glass industry – said that the report fitted the requirements of the Waste Framework Directive and was a useful contribution to the current review of filter dust recycling.
Mark Pudner said:
“The Glass Link Group is a really important forum – it brings consistency across the UK and lets the regulators share learning and best practice on this complex area. To have the people responsible for regulating 11 of the 16 UK major glass manufacturing sites together with us, face to face, was very productive. We’re delighted to have had the chance to explain this aspect of our business to them in some detail.”
Assocaited with this work, British Glass has also produced guidance note on assessing the waste classification and properties of filter dust. Download the filter dust waste classification guidance.
The British Glass Environment and Energy (E&E) Committee works to make the UK glass industry sustainable and competitive for the future by proactively addressing policy, regulatory and legislative matters as well as actively pursuing technical innovation. The committee is made up of representatives from across the British Glass membership, and supported by British Glass subject experts.
British Glass members wanting to find out more about the work of the E&E Committee should email firstname.lastname@example.org