Praxair, Inc. (NYSE: PX) announced it has signed a contract with Libbey, one of the largest glassware and tableware manufacturers globally, to supply it with Praxair’s OPTIMELTTM thermochemical regenerator (TCR) system. The company also entered into a long-term contract with Libbey to deliver oxygen to its glass melting facility in the Netherlands through a non-cryogenic, vacuum pressure swing adsorption (VPSA) system. Both the OPTIMELT TCR system and the 60 ton-per-day VPSA oxygen on-site supply system are scheduled to start up in 2017.
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. The system to be installed at Libbey will be designed to reduce natural gas consumption and flue gas carbon dioxide emissions by approximately 20 percent.
“Praxair develops technologies aimed at our mission of making our planet more productive,” said Todd Skare, chief technology officer at Praxair. “The combination of Praxair’s innovative OPTIMELT technology and VPSA oxygen supply system enables productivity gains in operating cost and specific energy, as well as emissions reductions, all of which help achieve Libbey's sustainability goals.”
“Libbey’s decision to choose oxy-fuel combustion technology by installing Praxair’s OPTIMELT TCR system on our new L1 furnace is part of the company’s strategy to improve energy efficiency and reduce emissions in glass production,” said Terry Hartman, vice president of Engineering at Libbey. “Designing this new furnace and installing Praxair’s technology requires a collaborative team approach between our two companies and will enable Libbey to lead change in the glass industry.”