Energy Reduction in Manufacturing Processes - WRAP

The Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) has established that the UK produces over 1.2 million tonnes of surplus recycled mixed colour and green container glass cullet every year. WRAP has set a primary goal of reducing the quantity of cullet sent to landfill.

The Challenge

WRAP wanted to investigate the potential use of powdered recycled glass as a substitute fluxing additive for the manufacture of clay bricks to:

  • Increase recycled material content
  • Lower CO2 emissions
  • Reduce energy usage
  • Maintain/improve product performance.

Ceram was commissioned by WRAP to examine the recycled cullet as a fluxing body agent to address several interconnected sustainability issues:

  • Diversion of waste from landfill and therefore waste utilisation
  • Energy reduction
  • Recycled material content and reduction in virgin material usage
  • Further process optimization
  • Carbon dioxide emission reduction
  • Fluoride emission reduction.

What We Delivered

The construction materials experts at Ceram conducted laboratory trials on several clays which led to full production scale trials with manufacturers. From the trials, Ceram was able to benchmark the various factors and identify the benefits of several commonly utilised clay types and manufacturing processes. The project was undertaken in conjunction with many of the UK’s multinational brick manufacturing organizations.

Value to the Client

Ceram provided WRAP with an analysis of the key benefits from utilising recycled glass as a fluxing body agent in the manufacturing heavy clay construction products. These were:

  • 10% electrical energy reduction in the extrusion process
  • 5% – 35% CO2 emission reduction per tonne of bricks (dependent upon kiln and clay type)
  • Potential to divert 40,000 tonnes per annum of mixed colour cullet glass from landfill
  • Increase production throughput by 15%
  • Up to 30% reduction in hydrogen fluoride emissions – saving on scrubber media and thus the reduction of scrubber waste disposal to landfill.

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