Innovation That Matters

| Photo source Adrienne Berard / Pennsylvania State University

New glass cuts carbon and is more damage-resistant

Property & Construction

As well as requiring less energy to manufacture, the new glass is also 10 times more crack-resistant

Spotted: The global production of glass produces around 95 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. A group of Penn State researchers, led by Dr John Mauro, is aiming to cut this footprint by up to half with its invention, “LionGlass”. 

Conventional glass production is reliant upon the burning of two carbon-based substances, sodium carbonate and calcium carbonate, which results in carbon dioxide being released as a waste product. But, the main source of emissions in glass production is the furnaces, which must be run at extremely high temperatures. LionGlass lowers the running temperature of these furnaces by around 300-400 degrees Celsius which, in turn, decreases energy consumption by about 30 per cent compared to conventional glass. 

Additionally, LionGlass has been found to be ten times stronger than its conventional competitor, meaning that it is much less likely to require frequent repairs or replacing. Indeed, the limit of LionGlass is yet to actually be found, as the testing kit used to measure glass strength was maxed out by the research team: “It simply wouldn’t crack,” according to one fellow in the lab. 

The greater strength of LionGlass also means that products made from it can be far smaller and lighter-weight, as less glass is needed to perform the same task and provide the same level of protective strength. And because it’s more lightweight, less energy would be required to transport LionGlass. 

The researchers responsible for LionGlass, named after the Penn State mascot, are now at the point of evaluating potential uses for LionGlass, starting with attempting to find its actual crack-resistance with further testing. 

In the archive, Springwise has also spotted other improvements made in glass manufacturing and usage, in the form of a glass coating that cools houses as well as a net-zero glass that reduces heating costs.

Written By: Archie Cox




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