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Low-nox cost effective oil and gas combustion technology for glass furnaces, scaling by modelling and measurements by spectral sensors


Objectives and content

The European glass industry must now respect regulations designed to protect environment and resources. In France, 500 mg/Nm3 of NOx is a level that glass makers have considered as a target even though this level of emission is currently much below that which can be attained on regenerative glass furnaces (usually around 2500 mg/Nm3 when NOx are uncontrolled). The development and use of cost effective nonpolluting technologies to bum current fuels and to support operators of large regenerative glass furnaces is considered in the proposal with the ultimate objective to promote for the clean environment in Europe. Such furnaces represent 90% of glass production in Europe and are oil or gas fuelled (50% oil and 50% gas).

The objective of the project consists in reducing the NOx formation within glass furnaces by primary measures i.e by enhancing the burner system technology instead of carrying out secondary measures that may be used to suppress the NOx after NOx formation, such as denitrification by ammonia reduction or reburning. The economic cost of secondary measures (e.g. for selective catalytic reduction) can be evaluated to 2,5 ECU/ton of glass to be compared with a mere 0,022 ECU/ton of glass for the solution to be developed within the project.

New burner systems including a new low-NOx smart regulating element will be developed in order to limit the amount of NOx formed during combustion. The scientific and technical approach will encompass 3 scales in a stepwise manner: Laboratory scale (200 kW), semi-industrial scale (0,5 to 2 MW), industrial scale (15 MW). The interpretation of the NOx formation phenomena and the burner scaling up will be ensured by modelling. New imaging sensors will be developed to provide data for the control of burner systems and for the modelling. They will help monitoring glass furnaces in the future. The final industrial demonstration will take place in 3 different glass furnaces (two gas fuelled but at different preheated air temperatures, one oil fuelled). At the end of the 4 year project, the final deliverables of the project will be:

- Two Low-NOx industrial burner system prototypes (one for oil, one for gas) ensuring a NOx
production at least inferior to 500 mg/Nm3 (at 8% of 02 on a dry basis measured in flue gas).
- Two new industrial sensor prototypes for combustion monitoring in glass furnaces: a cooled
multi-wavelength imaging radiometer to measure heat flux and a 3D flame imaging system to detect NOx formation within the flame.
- A numerical model of the combustion and NOx formation of industrial burners validated on semi-industrial fully instrumented experiments and on industrial demonstrations.

An important characteristic of the project is its multidisplinarity . The consortium comprises a glass maker Saint-Gobain, for the industrial demonstration, a gas distributor Gaz de France and a company specialised on flame research g RF for the semi-industrial scale experiments, a manufacturer and vendor of burning systems Hotwork-Köster, a measurement equipment manufacturer AGEMA Infrared Systems for imaging sensor development, a University group IST for the laboratory scale experiments and a research Centre CNRS-LPTMR for the modelling studies. Project results are expected to be diffused to glass and steel industry, cement kilns and trash handling.

Funding Scheme

CSC - Cost-sharing contracts


Quai Lucien Lefranc 39

Participants (6)

Agema Infrared Systems AB
182 11 Danderyd
23,Avenue Du Président Wilson 361
93211 La Plaine Saint-denis
Hotwork-Köster GmbH
5,Am Lindenbrunnen
97846 Partenstein
Avenida Rovisco Pais, Pav. Mecanica 1-2°
1049-001 Lisboa
Wenckebachstraat 1, 3G-25
1970 CA Ijmuiden
Université de Rouen - Haute Normandie
Place Emile Blondel
76821 Mont-saint-aignan