Glass - Back to the Future!

Presenting Author:
Joaquín de Diego

article posted 22 March 2016
Furnace Solutions C

Joaquín de Diego is Combustion Market Applications European Manager at Praxair Euroholding. Based in Madrid, Spain. Is responsible for Oxy-combustion developments in aluminium, glass, frits, lead, iron, and cement applications. After to joining Praxair in 1997 has been working like Product Manager Welding Gases and European Manager at the Energy Market Applications Group. Joaquín received a University Degree of Chemistry from Complutense University in Madrid (Spain), a European Welding Specialist Certificate by the European Welding Federation and a MBA from ESIC Business and Marketing School in Madrid (Spain).

Fuel savings and Operating Experience with OPTIMELT™ Thermo-chemical Regenerators on a 50 tons Commercial Container Glass Furnace

J. de Diego*1, Kobayashi H., Lelouvier FX.1,Laux S., Wu KT, Francis A.W., Bell R.L. and Iyoha U.
1 Praxair Euroholding, Orense 11 9ª, Madrid 28020, Spain
Praxair, Inc., 39 Old Ridgebury Road, Danbury, CT 06810, USA

Improving energy efficiency and reducing operating costs of glass melting furnaces has been a continuous goal for glass industry in addition to the reduction of downstream emissions. The operation of oxy-fuel fired glass furnaces, in combination with heat recovery systems, offers significant reduction in energy consumption and emissions relative to conventional air-firing. For a large scale commercial system, Praxair’s OPTIMELT™ thermo-chemical regenerator technology is expected to reduce fuel consumption about 30% relative to an air-fired furnace and 20% relative to an oxy-fuel baseline. OPTIMELT™ technology heats and reforms the fuel and recirculated flue gas mixture in the hot checker pack of the regenerator, similar to conventional air-regenerators, without catalysts or separate steam generation. The OPTIMELT™ system regenerators are only 1/3 the size of the conventional air heating regenerators, making the retrofit on rebuild economical attractive option.
Praxair’s OPTIMELT™ regenerative Thermo-Chemical Regenerator (TCR) system was first demonstrated on a 50 tpd container glass furnace in September 2014 and has been operating reliably since then at Pavisa in Mexico. Pavisa manufactures glass and crystal products. OPTIMETL has been operated in daily production since then. The system has been operating without any loss of glass production or quality issues. About 15 to 18% fuel savings were measured depending on the furnace operating conditions relative to the oxy-fuel baseline. These values are consistent with the projected savings for small glass furnaces. The reformed fuel containing H2 and CO and soot was shown to form a highly luminous flame and to transfer heat efficiently.
To further improve the performance of the system, the TCR technology is being further advanced by combining it with another heat recovery step to more efficiently recover waste heat and cool down the flue gas to about 400°C. This advanced heat recovery system, OPTIMELT™ PLUS TCR technology, recovers about 75% of the sensible heat in flue gas.
This paper will summarize two years of extensive operational experience, performance, and maintenance requirements of the TCR system on the 50 t/d commercial container glass furnace. In addition, the technical concept including detailed engineering design, technology implementation and balance of plant equipment of the advanced OPTIMELT™ PLUS TCR technology will be presented for a 240 t/d container furnace.