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Comment Heat Transfer

Thermochemical regenerator system demonstrated in glass facility

By Scott Jenkins |

A patented thermochemical regenerator system developed by Praxair, Inc. (Danbury, Conn.; www.praxair.com) has been demonstrated at its first industrial site, a glass-making facility in Mexico. The system, known as the Optimelt heat-recovery system, lowers fuel consumption in oxy-fuel furnaces, which use pure oxygen, rather than air, as the primary combustion oxidant. The Optimelt system directs combustion fluegas to a regenerator chamber, where it heats refractory checker bricks and cools to between 1,100 and 1,300°F before exiting the chamber. A portion (10–20%) of the cooled fluegas (mostly H2O and CO2) is recycled, mixed with the furnace fuel (natural gas) and then introduced at the bottom of another regenerator that has been heated in the previous cycle, according to the company. The gas mixture absorbs heat from the refractory material, Praxair explains, and undergoes endothermic reactions, such as H2O- and CO2-reforming, to generate synthesis gas (syngas). With the gas mixture above a certain temperature, the reactions occur at atmospheric pressure without the need for catalysts or additional steam generation, the company points out. The hot syngas stream has a heating value that is 1.2–1.3 times that of the natural gas…
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