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Natural gas: Key to the glass manufacturing industry

Energy Global,

According to the US Energy Information Administration (EIA), in 2012, industrial sector which includes manufacturing, mining, agriculture and construction accounted for nearly 1/3 of total US energy use. The energy intensive manufacturing industry, which includes glass manufacturing, accounted for little more than half of total industrial energy use. The glass manufacturing industry is in fact, among the most energy intensive industries in the US.

Manufacturing sector survey

In a recent EIA survey of the manufacturing sector, glass manufacturing accounted for 1% of total industrial energy use. Overall, fuel use was dominated by natural gas at 73%. In 2010, the amount of natural gas used at glass manufacturing facilities reached 143 billion ft3.

Natural gas and glass manufacturing

The bulk of energy consumed in glass manufacturing comes from natural gas combustion and is used to heat furnaces to melt raw materials to form glass. The furnaces are mainly natural gas fired, but there are a small number of electrically powered furnaces. 

Adapted from press release by Claira Lloyd

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