Low carbon dining

Clay Technology magazine
,
16 Apr 2010
Ceramic bowl

As the industry faces pressure over high energy use in production,
ceramic manufacturer, Dudson, UK, has responded with what it claims to
be green ceramic tableware in a bid to reduce their carbon footprint.

Manufacturing ceramics is traditionally energy intensive. The
Evolution range, which uses a lower temperature system, has a 79% lower
carbon footprint than standard ceramic tableware and porcelain,
according to the company.

Operations Director, Mark Dudson
explains, ‘The carbon calculation takes into account comparative firing
temperatures and kiln types.’

The product, which is manufactured
using a ThermECO body and ThermECO glaze, works by reducing the firing
temperature, lowering energy use and CO2 emissions.

The
company, in partnership with Endeka Ceramics, has developed the ceramic
body to be manufactured using a once-fired system instead of the
typical twice-fired process, allowing the glaze to be fired during the
same firing cycle that is used to mature, or vitrify, the body.

Although
once-fire technology is not new, Dudson claim its use at 100ºC lower
than existing systems is unique in delivering a technically durable
product.The method does not require any modification to the heat cycle
but simply eliminates the second glost, so that CO2 emissions are
further reduced.

Another shift in production has been the use of
unleaded glaze flux and Dudson suggests the need for an industry-wide
shift, ‘Lead is toxic and can, if not handled properly, cause health
issues in the factory and, in rare cases, for the end-user. Of course,
a few tableware manufacturers do still use lead but unleaded should now
be a basic requirement of all tableware,’ he adds.