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Over the years, we have been working to increase the efficiency of combustion using oxygen. Originally, this involved enriching the main combustion air with oxygen. Over the years, we have refined this process so that oxygen can now also be fed through lances positioned directly in the regenerators of glass melting furnaces.
This greatly increases the efficiency of oxygen enrichment, creating a more intense, directional flue gas recirculation effect within the furnace. As a result, the burner system activates a diluted, staged combustion process.
Fuel dilution leads to a more homogenous flame, a reduced flame temperature and lower emissions – especially of harmful substances such as nitrous oxides (NOx). This is a key advantage given that the regulations for NOx emissions are increasingly stringent. They are reported in milligrams per normal cubic metre (mg/Nm3) in dry flue gas based on 8% residual oxygen.
New EU legislation sets an 800 mg/Nm³ threshold, for instance – which is a significant reduction compared with current emission levels in many furnaces.
Oxygen lances can also be combined with oxyfuel burners to reduce NOx emissions even further or increase melting capacity by 5-15% while still complying with stricter legislation.
Benefits of oxygen lancing
• Increased melting capacity (5 – 10%)
• Reduced flue gas volumes and emissions, with NOx emissions down by as much as 65% to 500 mg/Nm³
• Lower energy consumption (3 – 5%)
• Consistently high glass quality (e.g. no shift in T-profile, stable CO concentration)
• Recovery of melting capacity in the event of regenerator or recuperator plugging
• Greater operational flexibility
• Ease of installation and integration into furnace control system
• Low up-front investment.