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High-Efficiency Burner Lowers Costs and Emissions in Oxy-Fuel Glass Melters
Glass melters use combustion systems to produce molten glass. While significant progress has been made in developing oxy-fuel combustion systems, current technologies provide low flame luminosity and generate relatively high NOX emissions in the presence of even small amounts of nitrogen in the combustion process.
With the help of a grant from AMO, Combustion Tec Inc., now Eclipse, Inc., has developed an innovative burner that increases luminosity and radiant heat transfer in high-temperature glass furnaces. The burner improves performance by modifying the fuel prior to combustion and then forming and burning soot in the flame. The burner increases heat transfer rates while decreasing flame temperatures to improve furnace production rates and thermal efficiency.
The high-luminosity, low-NOX burner combines a preheating zone with two combustion zones. First, a small fraction of the natural gas is burned. The products of this combustion are then mixed with the main supply of natural gas, resulting in hydrocarbon soot precursors generated in an oxygen-free heating environment. Next, the preheated natural gas enters the first, fuelrich combustion zone in which soot forms in the flame. However, most of the combustion occurs in the second, fuel-lean combustion zone. The burning soot particles create a highly luminous flame that is more thermally efficient and cooler than a typical oxy-fuel flame.
- Developed and marketed by Eclipse, Inc.
- Commercialized in 2002.
- Operating in ten U.S. plants in 2011.
Can be used in existing and new oxy-fuel glass melters, with the largest demand currently existing in the container, fiber, and specialty glass sectors of the glass industry.
- Can be used on new furnaces or retrofit to older ones.
- Improves furnace production rates as a result of a more than 12% increase in heat transfer rates.
Energy Saving and Pollution Reduction
Reduces NOX emissions from glass melters up to 50% and improves thermal efficiency up to 20% over traditional oxygen fuel burners.
Allows cost-effective compliance with emissions regulations and provides flexibility for compliance in existing furnaces without major modifications.
Produces a lower flame temperature and lower exit temperatures, which could extend the furnace life.