Answered By: Regan Brumagen
Last Updated: Sep 22, 2016     Views: 75

I am sending a scan from The Complete Book on Glass Technology that analyzes the energy needed to melt a ton of glass. 

What type of energy/furnace is your baseline (natural gas, electric) and what type of glass would be melted? The numbers vary widely depending on these and other factors. 

Have you talked with Eddie Bernard? For at least three years he has coordinated a panel on this topic at the Glass Art Society conference. He has been a wonderful consultant when we receive questions at the library. 
Eddie Bernard 
Business Name: Wet Dog Glass, LLC 
City: Star 
State: NC 
Category: Artist; Manufacturer/Supplier 
Website: http://www.wetdogglass.com 

I'm sending a list of some resources we have pulled together. They include articles, books, and websites. 

If you wish to obtain copies of any of these items, please contact your local library. The Rakow Research Library is a member of the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC); your library can contact us through OCLC or they may mail an Interlibrary Loan form to us. You may request up to five items at a time. We send photocopies of articles and microfiche copies of our books (if they have been microfilmed) through Interlibrary Loan for four weeks use. Contact ill@cmog.org for further information. 

You spoke to Regan Brumagen on the phone and she was working on your question simultaneously. Here is some additional information from her research: 

These might be useful: 

1) An efficient large furnace will require 1100 kWh of energy for each tonne of glass melted. (http://www.glass-ts.com/News/PressArchive/PressReleases6.html) 

2) 790 kWh per ton up to 1,050 kWh per ton depending on the efficiency of the furnace. (http://mikegigi.com/techspec.htm#MELTGL)

3) In comparison, fuel-fired regenerative furnaces used for glass-melting consume an estimated 4.5 to 7.5 million Btu's per ton of glass melted. 

• Energy issues 
Glass melting is an energy-intensive process in a period of rising energy costs; energy represents overall approximately 15 percent of manufacturing costs. While only about 2.2 mmBtu should be needed to melt a ton of glass, current glass furnaces use between 3.8 and 20 mmBtu. A reliable forecast of future availability and cost of fossil fuels could be of major value in planning and developing glass melting 
technology. As customer requirements for quality have increased steadily, melting technologies have balanced production quantity with quality, thus increasing energy usage. 
Although energy usage for glass melting has been reduced over the last several decades, actual energy consumed in melting glass is still greater than the calculated theoretical energy required. Of energy 
consumed, 70 percent is used to melt and refine glass. Of that 70 percent, 40 percent of the energy from combustion goes to melt raw materials, while 60 percent is lost through furnace walls and hot exhaust gases. 
Energy consumption by the glass industry has been reduced considerably by the development of refractors that resist higher temperature; greater insulation of furnaces; improved combustion efficiency; preheating of combustion air with recovery of waste heat; and increased understanding of process and control. Further energy savings toward theoretical limits may be more difficult to obtain, as the industry believes it is approaching practical limits in energy reduction but continues to make incremental efforts to 
save energy. Some technologies are available to reduce energy consumption but savings incurred do not justify the capital investment at the current cost of the energy. To support the required glass product volumes and production rates, it may be necessary to develop high-temperature melters that, while 
consuming more energy per unit of time, have much higher output, or less energy per mass of product. 
http://www.osti.gov/glass/Special%20Reports/Glass%20melting%20tech%20assessment.pdf 

It sounds like a wonderful article!