Trials have begun at Pilkington UK’s St Helen’s facility in the Liverpool City Region to produce float (sheet) glass using 100% hydrogen.

As industries across the UK look towards meeting the Government’s net zero targets, these trials show how carbon emissions in industry can be drastically reduced.

Given that industry accounts for around 25% of all the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, measures must be taken to achieve a reduction in the UK’s carbon footprint.

One such measure is Progressive Energy’s HyNet Industrial Fuel Switching project, with hydrogen being provided by BOC. As just one of several projects underway in North West England, the Pilkington UK trial could be set to revolutionise the glass making industry.

Another HyNet trial using hydrogen provided by BOC is being held at Unilever later this year in Port Sunlight.

Commenting on the project, Steve Rotheram, Metro Mayor, Liverpool City Region, said he wants the Liverpool City Region to be at the forefront of the Green Industrial Revolution to take advantage of the jobs, investment and innovation that it will bring.

He added. “Just as we led the first industrial revolution, our region is leading the green one too.”

Awarded funding of £5.3m from BEIS, the HyNet Industrial Fuel Switching programme will help HyNet to decarbonise the North West from 2025. It’s estimated that ten million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) could be removed from across North West England and North East Wales each year.

David Parkin, Director of Progressive Energy, Project Director, HyNet North West, enthused about the opportunities presented by the project, saying, “HyNet will bring employment and economic growth to the North West region, kick-starting a low carbon hydrogen economy.”

“We are focused on reducing emissions and protecting the North West’s existing 340,000 manufacturing jobs and creating over 6,000 new, permanent jobs, setting the region on course to be the world leader in clean energy innovation.”

More jobs could be created along with the HyNet project’s other development, the UK’s first low carbon hydrogen production plant at Essar Manufacturing Complex in Stanlow. The plant aims to be producing hydrogen from 2025.

Speaking about the innovative nature of the project, Matt Buckley, UK MD, Pilkington United Kingdom Limited, part of the NSG Group, said that Pilkington UK and St Helens are once again at the forefront of innovation in industry and that the HyNet project will be a massive step to support the company’s decarbonisation activities.