By formal resolution, the United Nations General Assembly has declared the year 2022 as the International Year of Glass to celebrate the importance of this transformative material. As an essential part of everyday human life, glass has changed the ways we see the world, communicate, treat disease, create energy, fabricate our homes, and more.
Air Products is proud to be part of the glass industry's rich history and integral to its bright future. For more than 70 years, we have been innovating and evolving our portfolio of oxygen solutions to improve combustion, and enable primary glass and frit producers to increase production, reduce fuel consumption and emissions, and enhance quality. We celebrate this important industry and look forward to ongoing advancements in glass melting technology.
Oxygen is injected into the main combustion air system well ahead of the delivery point to the furnace. This pre-mix of oxygen is most common on recuperative furnaces or unit melters that have many such delivery points or on regenerative melters where it is desirable to use the oxygen to enhance the entire combustion process in a consistent manner.
This method has historically been the most cost-effective way to use oxygen to supplement air-fuel combustion. The strategic injection of oxygen beside, beneath or through air-fuel flames has allowed glass melters to reach campaign objectives in terms of pull rate, fuel efficiency and glass quality. The benefits of oxygen lancing accrue from having the oxygen mix with fuel where it is most needed.
The boosting concept uses oxy-fuel burners positioned within the air-fuel melter to increase production, quality, efficiency and furnace stability. Oxy-fuel boosting is typically used to increase pull rate on a furnace that is at capacity or that has been crippled due to a failure or loss of effectiveness of the air-fuel combustion system.
Oxy-fuel glass melting furnaces provide the most flexible and efficient means for melting glass in large tonnage production operations. Operational benefits provided by oxygen are maximized with full conversion: increased production, decreased fuel consumption, decreased emissions, improved glass quality, reduced maintenance, and extended furnace campaign life.
The Advanced Clean Energy Laboratory is our newest demonstration facility, capable of facilitating development and full-scale testing of combustion systems using actual customer fuels. Plus a remote video imaging systems enables real-time participation in testing via the Internet.
"It was clear from day one that Air Products was deploying a team of genuine combustion engineering experts who knew the glass industry intimately."
Lee KeunHaeng, Project Manager, Techpack Solutions
The benefits of oxy-fuel combustion for glass melting relative to air-fuel combustion are fairly well-known. They include lower capital cost, higher fuel efficiency, reduced NOₓ emissions and improved glass quality.