Praxair, Inc. and its customer, Libbey Inc. have been awarded a 2.3 million euro LIFE grant (LIFE15 CCM/NL/000121 – LIFE OPTIMELT) from the European Commission. The LIFE program is the European Union’s financial instrument for supporting environmental, conservation and climate action projects. This grant is supporting the installation of Praxair’s OPTIMELT®thermochemical regenerator (TCR) system at Libbey’s glass melting facility in the Netherlands.
In April 2016, Praxair and Libbey, one of the largest glassware and tableware manufacturers globally, announced they would install the OPTIMELT TCR system as well as an on-site oxygen vacuum pressure swing adsorption (VPSA) plant at Libbey’s facility. The system is designed to support a capacity realignment plan that reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by approximately 45 to 60 percent and 30 to 40 percent respectively. Through Praxair’s proprietary OPTIMELT TCR system, incoming natural gas is heated and reacts with a portion of the flue gas to produce a hot syngas fuel that recovers the waste heat stored in regenerators for more efficient combustion in the furnace. Both the OPTIMELT TCR system and oxygen supply are scheduled to start up in 2017.
“At Praxair we are achieving our mission of making our planet more productive through the development of technologies that reduce emissions, save energy and lessen our reliance on natural resources,” said Todd Skare, chief technology officer at Praxair. “Through our innovative OPTIMELT technology and VPSA oxygen supply system, we are improving air quality and helping Libbey to achieve its sustainability goals.”
“Libbey is committed to minimizing its impact on the environment through the reduction and conservation of natural resources,” said Terry Hartman, vice president, global engineering and manufacturing support, Libbey Inc. “Reductions in global air pollution require innovative solutions that go beyond filters. In partnership with Praxair, we have constructed and launched the highest-efficiency glass melter in the industry at our Royal Leerdam facility in the Netherlands. This new furnace represents the type of collaboration and process innovation that enables us to help lead change as a responsible global company.”