In support of Libbey’s sustainability strategy and alignment with the European carbon reduction roadmap, the L1 project goals were to use top grade furnace technology to improve productivity, reduce energy consumption and to diminish emissions.

As a consequence, the L1 project has positioned the Leerdam location as first class for the sustainable production of premium tableware products.

The startup of the Optimelt system at Leerdam was the last step of a comprehensive project to modernise and increase Libbey’s tableware production in Leerdam.

Throughout the Leerdam furnace design stage countless CFD models were completed at Praxair to test out the system design and to adjust the furnace temperature profile to the syngas combustion system.

The placement of the syngas port and the associated oxygen lances were optimized to fill the furnace adequately with the large flame without any signs of flame attachment or overheating of the crown or sidewalls.

Special attention was placed to the distance of the flame above the glass melt and to the atmosphere directly above the glass so as to avoid any quality issues due to glass redox.

The L1 project has significantly reduced the emission of NOx, SOx and dust at Leerdam.

The excellent results on SOx and dust indicate that the Optimelt flame is properly positioned in the furnace and that glass volatilization is low as well as indicating that the new batch house design makes a positive impact on the data.

The L1 project has significantly reduced energy consumption and consequent CO2 emissions at the Leerdam site.

Most of the data points gathered so far fall into a production range of approximately 75% of the furnace capacity. At this pull 13.3% energy reduction has been achieved which falls short of the expected performance (15%).

The current available data at a higher pull of 85% (limited data available) shows approximately a 15% fuel reduction, which falls into the expected range.

The current process optimization campaign will improve furnace performance