Heat and electricity is used in the glass making process. High levels of heat is needed to melt the silica into molten glass. During this stage, heat also allows for fusion of other compounds in glass to give it different colors and characteristics. The molten glass is then put onto molds or blown, and this is either down manually through human hands and breath or electrically powered through pneumatic pumps.
The usual petroleum-based fuels are used to mine the glass sands, sodium sulfate, boron, soda ash, and more mineral-based materials used to manufacture glass, as well as to ship those commodities around the world, both to the US and from – the US is the greatest supplier of soda ash on earth – it is a $1.4 billion industry and the 19th largest non-fuel mineral industry in the US. Most of it goes to glass manufacture, and virtually all of it is mined in Wyoming.
Much modern plate glass is made flat by pouring hot glass onto a pool of molten tin. Obviously it took energy to mine the tin (China is the world production leader, but the US imports the greatest amount of its tin, an 80% import depencency, from Peru), as well as energy to melt that tin.
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