Inauguration of a new furnace in China

07/16/2020

Improve our production processes to limit our environmental impact. This is challenge taken up by the Kunshan plant which has just commissioned a new furnace that consumes 35% less energy.

 Inauguration of a new furnace in China

After eight years’ operation, the Kunshan furnace, in China, had to be completely rebuilt. For this refurbishment, the plant, which manufactures borosilicate glass for white goods (ovens, microwaves, washing machines, etc.), opted to build a more sustainable plant. Using new technology, the furnace has a higher heat yield and, above all, consumes 35% less energy than the previous facility. Another feature, the oxy-combustion system uses oxygen instead of air for the glass’s fusion. Conventional float glass furnaces use air as the oxidant (that is a body which, when combining with a fuel results in the latter’s combustion). Air contains around 21% oxygen and 79% nitrogen. Nitrogen is of no use in the combustion process and results in nitrous oxides (NOx) at high temperatures. The use of pure oxygen instead of air reduces the energy needed for combustion to occur (i.e., no need to heat the nitrogen) and also prevents the formation of NOx. So, this process also significantly reduces CO2 emissions.