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Integration of oxygen transport membranes in glass melting furnaces

pubblicazioni - Presentazione

Integration of oxygen transport membranes in glass melting furnaces

In questo lavoro viene studiata la possibile applicazione di moduli a membrana per la separazione dell’ossigeno in fornaci per la fusione del vetro. Il confronto fra diverse configurazioni di impianto, sia in termini energetici che economici, ha messo in luce la superiorità della soluzione proposta.

Glass manufacturing is an energy-intensive process where the bulk of energy, necessary to maintain high temperatures for glass melting, usually comes from natural gas combustion. A solution for energy saving is an oxy-fuel glass furnace.This paper investigates the possible application of a membrane based oxygen separation module in glass melting furnaces. The mass and energy balances of two oxy-fuel glass furnaces have been reproduced and compared to an air-blown unit assumed as benchmark.

The two oxy-fuel cases differ for the technology adopted to supply oxygen: in the first case, it is delivered by a PSA/VSA unit, whereas in the second case, oxygen is separated from a hot air stream in a membrane module integrated in a micro-gas turbine system. The assessment of the primary fuel demand of the three options highlights the superiority of the oxyfuel glass furnace with the advanced membrane-based technology. The economic assessment, included to highlight the potential of the proposed application, outlines further advantages.

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