Praxair, Inc. has started up a 180 tons per day (tpd), non-cryogenic plant for Owens-Illinois (O-I), the world’s largest glass container manufacturer and a partner for many leading food and beverage brands.

O-I has converted a conventional air-fuel glass furnace to oxyfuel using Praxair’s oxyfuel combustion technology. Under a long-term contract, Praxair will supply gaseous oxygen to the glass facility in Muskogee, Oklahoma.

Oxyfuel combustion uses oxygen rather than air to enhance combustion, improve energy efficiency in the glass melting process and reduce nitrogen oxide emissions.

In addition to supplying the oxygen, Praxair has provided the oxyfuel combustion flow control skids and installed its dilute oxygen combustion Wide Flame Burner technology, designed to minimise furnace emissions and reduce furnace crown deterioration.

“Praxair pioneered the development of advanced oxygen-based processes for enhancing combustion within glass furnaces,” said Pravin Mathur, Executive Director for Praxair’s Global Market Development organisation.

“We are pleased to continue to bring this experience to our long-time customer, O-I. Our plant and technology will provide an efficient and reliable supply of oxygen and oxyfuel combustion to O-I, increasing their productivity and improving the environmental performance of their manufacturing processes.”

Key role

The glass container industry produces containers for packaging food and beverage products. The US manufactures approximately 10 million tons of product annually, and is the largest segment of the glass industry, by volume.

O-I delivers safe, sustainable, pure, iconic, brand-building glass packaging to this growing global marketplace and Will Besancon, O-I Project Manager, said of the new plant, “Praxair’s extensive technical and process experience with oxyfuel glass furnaces played a key role in helping us successfully design and start up our newest furnace.”

“We look forward to their continued support with the new furnace, which will improve the efficiency and sustainability of our glass operations in Muskogee.”