The Linde Group has announced its agreement with international stainless steel producer Outokumpu, for a new flameless oxyfuel preheating system for its ferrochrome converter in Tornio, Finland.

The self-cooled flameless oxyfuel system will replace the existing conventional water-cooled oxyfuel system, providing Outokumpu with more economical and environmentally friendly production.

The new 2.5 MW flameless oxyfuel system for drying and preheating of the ferrochrome converter will be commissioned in September 2008.

The system is to be Finland’s first such installation and will provide Outokumpu’s Tornio Works with reduced heating cycles, greater energy efficiency and up to 50% lower fuel consumption and CO2 emissions.

“Flameless oxyfuel delivers a simple, compact and low weight installation as compared to an air fuel system with a recuperator or regenerative solution. It is seen as the best available technology for heating and not only allows for ultra low NOx emissions, but brings extended refractory life through more uniform temperature distribution” explained Joachim von Schéele, Marketing Manager for Metals and Glass Industries at Linde Gases Division.

Mauri Kauppi, Steel Melting Shop and Hot Rolling Mill Manager at Outokumpu, affirmed, “It is Outokumpu’s policy to follow and implement technology that decreases fuel consumption and CO2 and NOx-emissions. Linde’s flameless oxyfuel system is a compelling technology that fulfils this need.”

Linde has installed 30 flameless oxyfuel systems over the past five years, primarily in reheat and annealing furnaces, some using low calorific fuels.