Praxair, Inc. has introduced its patented OPTIMELTTM thermochemical regenerator system. The company’s technology productively recovers waste energy from furnace flue gases, reducing emissions and improving the energy efficiency of glass production.

“As the first industrial site for Praxair’s OPTIMELT system, we have been able to quickly realize significant improvements in productivity and glass quality, along with an almost twenty percent reduction in our fuel costs”

Through the process, incoming natural gas is heated and reacted with a portion of waste flue gas to produce a hot syngas fuel that captures both the heat and chemical potential of the waste stream. This process can result in a reduction in fuel consumption of up to 20% compared to oxy-fuel glass furnaces and as high as 30% when compared to air-fuel furnaces. In addition to increased productivity, reduced emissions and fuel savings, the OPTIMELT system delivers operational benefits that help ensure production of high-quality glass. The OPTIMELT system equipment is custom designed by Praxair and can be installed with new furnaces or retrofitted to existing facilities.

Praxair’s OPTIMELT system is being made available market-wide for glass melting furnaces and has been proven on a commercial scale in a glass-melting furnace at Grupo Pavisa in Mexico.

“As the first industrial site for Praxair’s OPTIMELT system, we have been able to quickly realize significant improvements in productivity and glass quality, along with an almost twenty percent reduction in our fuel costs,” said Alonso Gonzales, president, Grupo Pavisa.

“For Praxair, the OPTIMELT system is more than just a significant advancement in glass production, it is a tangible example of our commitment to making our planet more productive in safe and sustainable ways,” said Praxair Corporate Fellow Sho Kobayashi. “We provide products and services that enable customers to increase productivity and lower costs while significantly reducing emissions.”