Carboglass: Transformative Engineering Materials for Reduced Energy and Waste Consumption in Advanced Manufacturing Processes

Lead Research Organisation: Sheffield Hallam University
Department Name: College of Business, Technology & Eng

Abstract

The overarching goal of this project is to establish the technological potential, through a proof - of - concept study, of an entirely new family of glassy materials which could safely and stably incorporate high levels of CO2 by locking it away within the structure of the material in a stable form that is resistant to air, heat and light. In doing so it is believed this will present multiple new properties and in so doing this will enable transformative industrial changes in the way we manufacture, use, recycle and think about glass. There are three main pathways to academic and commercial impact: (1) UK glass industry and community (the primary route); (2) Multiple UK manufacturing sectors, specifically electronic devices and photonics; and (3) UK nuclear industry, specifically waste immobilisation and site license companies. Carboglass could provide multiple new innovation platforms for advanced materials and manufacturing technologies; carbon capture and storage; nuclear decommissioning; and energy and CO2 emissions reduction, thereby impacting upon policy, health and quality of life; delivering the capability to disrupt existing business models and contributing towards a more resilient, productive and prosperous nation. This research could lead to new technologies that provide the UK glass industry with CO2 emissions savings of up to 50% (1.25MT/yr) and increase resource efficiency by up to 20% (1 MT/yr, saving £100M/yr). It could also provide a new path for treatment of carbon-rich radioactive wastes, and could become a leading carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology. This disruptive development could lead to new high-skilled UK jobs and offer a technology platform for uptake by other industries. The proposed research will take the form of 3 work packages (WP's) that will lead to proof-of-concept, as follows: WP1. CO2 incorporation (Months 1-20). Determine key chemical, structural and processing factors governing CO2 incorporation in materials. Materials incorporating CO2 will be produced. Outcomes: relations mapped in model systems, boundaries defined. WP2. Composition / structure / property relations (Months 3-24). Map relations in model materials with focus on CO2 incorporation and physical / chemical properties. Outcomes: fundamental understanding of effects of CO2 incorporation on material properties and structure achieved. WP3. Carboglass technology development (Months 12-24). Build / disseminate understanding of research needs to enable development of Carboglass technology towards high volume manufacturing. Outcomes: clear understanding of research needs for development of Carboglass technology, with initial upscaling designs disseminated widely to academic and industrial partners. Public benefits of this research will include improved environment and quality of life (lower CO2 emissions and energy use; safer nuclear waste, new functional materials leading to new products and processes); disruption of business models (UK jobs and wealth creation); and raised public interest in science and technology. Carboglass represents an opportunity for the UK to lead the world in new, clean and green technologies and simultaneously provides multiple new pathways for a resilient, productive and healthy UK.

Planned Impact

There are 3 main pathways to academic and commercial impact: (1) UK glass industry and academic community (primary route); (2) Multiple UK manufacturing sectors including electronics / photonics communities; and (3) UK nuclear industry, specifically waste immobilisation and site licensees. Carboglass could provide multiple new innovation platforms for advanced materials and manufacturing technologies; carbon capture and storage; nuclear decommissioning; and energy and CO2 emissions reduction, thereby impacting upon policy, health and quality of life; delivering the capability to disrupt existing business models and contributing towards a more resilient, productive and prosperous nation.
Several UK research programmes will benefit from the proposed research, including the National Graphene Centre (graphene and Carboglass both make novel use of carbon) and the National Composites Centre (Carboglass could be a new fibre reinforcement material). The research will address multiple EPSRC themes: Manufacturing the Future (Sustainable Industrial Systems, Frontier Manufacturing, Innovative Production Processes), Energy (Energy Efficiency, Nuclear Power) and all 3 NERC Societal Challenge themes. Several EPSRC Future Manufacturing Research Hubs (Photonics, Composites Manufacturing, Continuous Manufacturing & Advanced Crystallisation), the Sir Henry Royce Institute and the EPSRC DISTINCTIVE Programme will all benefit from this research as development of novel technical glasses impacts on these fields in terms of chemical materials discovery, novel / improved manufacturing processes, multifunctional materials, nuclear engineering and radioactive waste management. It will form new collaborations and multidisciplinary research directions between materials, manufacturing and geology. UK and global glass science and technology communities will benefit as the project will develop the first new family of technical glasses since the 1960's-70's, thus Carboglass will open up fresh, potentially revolutionary research themes and directions. The manufacturing community will benefit as the application of pressure and high temperature to for Carboglass will require novel manufacturing solutions, driving new developments in manufacturing.
If successful, this industrially-focussed project will be taken forward by industrial partners including the British Glass Manufacturer's Confederation and Glass Futures and their members (all 13 major UK glass manufacturers) including glassmakers Guardian Industries (flat glass) and Encirc (container glass); furnace designers (TecoGlas); with partners in high temperature / pressure operations (Siemens, Johnson Matthey); with the National Nuclear Laboratory and key academics from aligned EPSRC Hubs, Networks and Programmes. It is intended that prototyping and demonstrator technologies will be developed and demonstrated by 2022, with 25% commercial uptake by the UK glass industry by 2025 and adaptation and uptake by the UK and nuclear decommissioning industry by 2030. The UK glass, nuclear and other manufacturing industries will thus directly benefit from the proposed research. Future investment will be sought to subsidise scale-up and roll-out to the UK's 22 major glass production facilities, to deliver maximum environmental and commercial benefits across the UK glass industry and adaptation to the UK nuclear industry.
Public awareness of the research and its potential benefits will be raised through broadcast and print media. Public engagement activities will be undertaken, e.g. Science Cafés, schools outreach programmes and involvement with local / national media, e.g. TV, radio, press and interviews providing expert opinion, using, for example, "The Conversation". Public benefits of this research will include health and quality of life (lower CO2 & energy use; safer nuclear waste); disruption of business models (jobs and wealth creation); providing a more resilient, productive and prosperous nation.

Publications

10 25 50
 
Description The results so far are informing a new initiative, led by Glass Futures Ltd, to develop a world-class training and pilot scale research facility for the glass industry, capable of trialling new technologies (including Carboglass) as they reach mid-stage TRL's. Glass Futures has just been awarded £7.1m by BEIS for the Industrial Fuel Switching Phase 3 project, on which the PI (Prof. Bingham) and his team are co-I's, which will feed in to the Glass Futures research base and pilot-scale facility development.
First Year Of Impact 2018
Sector Energy,Environment,Manufacturing, including Industrial Biotechology
Impact Types Societal,Economic,Policy & public services

 
Description Engagement with UK Government, BEIS, IUK, KTNs to support Foundation Industry Decarbonisation
Geographic Reach National 
Policy Influence Type Participation in a national consultation
Impact This engagement with multiple Government departments, BEIS, IUK, KTNs has resulted in Government support for decarbonising the Foundation Industries through targeted BEIS and IUK funding Calls which have been designed following multiple consultations and discussions. Our research, and involvement in Glass Futures, has helped enable this change in the funding landscape to directly support decarbonisation of glass and other Foundation Industries.
 
Description Collaborations with UK and US glass and glass structure researchers 
Organisation Coe College
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The PI (Prof. Bingham) and the former PDRA (Dr. Martin Wilding), in addition to one of Prof. Bingham's other PDRA's (Dr. Shuchi Vaishnav) have all made major contributions - securing Neutron Beam Time through a successful proposal to STFC ISIS led by Prof. Bingham; carrying out the beam time and delivering high quality neutron data on a series of simple glasses containing increasing amounts of CO2, far wider than the range of glasses hitherto studied. The team planned and carried out the experiments, prepared the samples, analysed the data and made major contributions to the writing of the one paper thus far published (Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 2020) and at least 2 more being written at present.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborators from Coe College (USA) and Johnson Matthey Technology Centre (UK) provided support through provision of some glass samples, participation in the neutron beam time, carrying out experiments and analyses using multiple techniques including solid state MAS-NMR, and major contributions to writing papers including the one now published (Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 2020).
Impact One paper published in Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids (2020), at least two more currently being written at present time.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaborations with UK and US glass and glass structure researchers 
Organisation Johnson Matthey
Department Johnson Matthey Technology Centre
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The PI (Prof. Bingham) and the former PDRA (Dr. Martin Wilding), in addition to one of Prof. Bingham's other PDRA's (Dr. Shuchi Vaishnav) have all made major contributions - securing Neutron Beam Time through a successful proposal to STFC ISIS led by Prof. Bingham; carrying out the beam time and delivering high quality neutron data on a series of simple glasses containing increasing amounts of CO2, far wider than the range of glasses hitherto studied. The team planned and carried out the experiments, prepared the samples, analysed the data and made major contributions to the writing of the one paper thus far published (Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 2020) and at least 2 more being written at present.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborators from Coe College (USA) and Johnson Matthey Technology Centre (UK) provided support through provision of some glass samples, participation in the neutron beam time, carrying out experiments and analyses using multiple techniques including solid state MAS-NMR, and major contributions to writing papers including the one now published (Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 2020).
Impact One paper published in Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids (2020), at least two more currently being written at present time.
Start Year 2018
 
Description Collaborations with UK and US glass and glass structure researchers 
Organisation Science and Technologies Facilities Council (STFC)
Department ISIS Neutron and Muon Source
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution The PI (Prof. Bingham) and the former PDRA (Dr. Martin Wilding), in addition to one of Prof. Bingham's other PDRA's (Dr. Shuchi Vaishnav) have all made major contributions - securing Neutron Beam Time through a successful proposal to STFC ISIS led by Prof. Bingham; carrying out the beam time and delivering high quality neutron data on a series of simple glasses containing increasing amounts of CO2, far wider than the range of glasses hitherto studied. The team planned and carried out the experiments, prepared the samples, analysed the data and made major contributions to the writing of the one paper thus far published (Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids 2020) and at least 2 more being written at present.
Collaborator Contribution Collaborators from Coe College (USA) and Johnson Matthey Technology Centre (UK) provided support through provision of some glass samples, participation in the neutron beam time, carrying out experiments and analyses using multiple techniques including solid state MAS-NMR, and major contributions to writing papers including the one now published (Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids, 2020).
Impact One paper published in Journal of Non-Crystalline Solids (2020), at least two more currently being written at present time.
Start Year 2018
 
Description New collaboration with multiple UK, US and Japanese Universities 
Organisation Carnegie Institution for Science (CIS)
Country United States 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution This collaboration was facilitated by Dr. Martin Wilding, the PDRA initially employed at SHU on this project (who left to a permanent position at the University of Manchester at Harwell, in 2019, this collaboration has resulted to date in 2 prestigious publications on carbonate glasses, with major input from Dr. Wilding and additional input from Prof. Bingham.
Collaborator Contribution The partners all provided data, access to facilities and interpretation of data and support in writing the papers, and their revision.
Impact This collaboration has contributed to 2 published papers to date; one in Scientific Reports (2019) and one in the Journal of Materials Research (2019).
Start Year 2018
 
Description New collaboration with multiple UK, US and Japanese Universities 
Organisation Ehime University
Country Japan 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration was facilitated by Dr. Martin Wilding, the PDRA initially employed at SHU on this project (who left to a permanent position at the University of Manchester at Harwell, in 2019, this collaboration has resulted to date in 2 prestigious publications on carbonate glasses, with major input from Dr. Wilding and additional input from Prof. Bingham.
Collaborator Contribution The partners all provided data, access to facilities and interpretation of data and support in writing the papers, and their revision.
Impact This collaboration has contributed to 2 published papers to date; one in Scientific Reports (2019) and one in the Journal of Materials Research (2019).
Start Year 2018
 
Description New collaboration with multiple UK, US and Japanese Universities 
Organisation Stony Brook University
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration was facilitated by Dr. Martin Wilding, the PDRA initially employed at SHU on this project (who left to a permanent position at the University of Manchester at Harwell, in 2019, this collaboration has resulted to date in 2 prestigious publications on carbonate glasses, with major input from Dr. Wilding and additional input from Prof. Bingham.
Collaborator Contribution The partners all provided data, access to facilities and interpretation of data and support in writing the papers, and their revision.
Impact This collaboration has contributed to 2 published papers to date; one in Scientific Reports (2019) and one in the Journal of Materials Research (2019).
Start Year 2018
 
Description New collaboration with multiple UK, US and Japanese Universities 
Organisation University of Bristol
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration was facilitated by Dr. Martin Wilding, the PDRA initially employed at SHU on this project (who left to a permanent position at the University of Manchester at Harwell, in 2019, this collaboration has resulted to date in 2 prestigious publications on carbonate glasses, with major input from Dr. Wilding and additional input from Prof. Bingham.
Collaborator Contribution The partners all provided data, access to facilities and interpretation of data and support in writing the papers, and their revision.
Impact This collaboration has contributed to 2 published papers to date; one in Scientific Reports (2019) and one in the Journal of Materials Research (2019).
Start Year 2018
 
Description New collaboration with multiple UK, US and Japanese Universities 
Organisation University of California, Davis
Country United States 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration was facilitated by Dr. Martin Wilding, the PDRA initially employed at SHU on this project (who left to a permanent position at the University of Manchester at Harwell, in 2019, this collaboration has resulted to date in 2 prestigious publications on carbonate glasses, with major input from Dr. Wilding and additional input from Prof. Bingham.
Collaborator Contribution The partners all provided data, access to facilities and interpretation of data and support in writing the papers, and their revision.
Impact This collaboration has contributed to 2 published papers to date; one in Scientific Reports (2019) and one in the Journal of Materials Research (2019).
Start Year 2018
 
Description New collaboration with multiple UK, US and Japanese Universities 
Organisation University of Oxford
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Academic/University 
PI Contribution This collaboration was facilitated by Dr. Martin Wilding, the PDRA initially employed at SHU on this project (who left to a permanent position at the University of Manchester at Harwell, in 2019, this collaboration has resulted to date in 2 prestigious publications on carbonate glasses, with major input from Dr. Wilding and additional input from Prof. Bingham.
Collaborator Contribution The partners all provided data, access to facilities and interpretation of data and support in writing the papers, and their revision.
Impact This collaboration has contributed to 2 published papers to date; one in Scientific Reports (2019) and one in the Journal of Materials Research (2019).
Start Year 2018
 
Description Annual Ravenscroft Lecture - Worshipful Company of Glass Sellers of London 
Form Of Engagement Activity Participation in an activity, workshop or similar
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact This highly prestigious annual invited Ravenscroft Lecture was delivered in London on 19/02/2020 to an audience of Glass Sellers and other Livery Company members, who represent a very wide cross section of the ancient trades and crafts, from many walks of life. The presentation was on the ubiquity of glass and the need to decarbonise the glass industry, with specific examples from the research carried out under the associated grants.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
 
Description Public lecture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach Regional
Primary Audience Public/other audiences
Results and Impact This inaugural public lecture was delivered on the broad topic of glass, but with key aspects including the environment and these projects and their research outcomes and objectives, fed-into the lecture, with exemplars from it, to engage the public with the need for the glass industry to decarbonise and develop new methods and materials.
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2019