Praxair and its customer, Libbey, together have been awarded a €2.3 million LIFE grant from the European Commission.

The LIFE programme is the European Union’s financial instrument for supporting environmental, conservation and climate action projects.

The grant is to support the installation of Praxair’s Optimelt thermochemical regenerator (TCR) system at Libbey’s glass melting facility in Leerdam, The Netherlands.

In April 2016, Praxair and Libbey said they would install the Optimelt TCR system as well as an on-site oxygen vacuum pressure swing adsorption (VPSA) plant at Libbey’s facility.

The system is designed to support a capacity realignment plan that reduces carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions by approximately 45 to 60% and 30 to 40% respectively.

Through the 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.

Both the Optimelt TCR system and oxygen supply are scheduled to start up in 2017.

Terry Hartman, Libbey vice president, global engineering and manufacturing support, said: “Reductions in global air pollution require solutions that go beyond filters. In partnership with Praxair, we have constructed and launched the highest-efficiency glass melter in the industry at our Royal Leerdam facility in the Netherlands.

"This new furnace represents the type of collaboration and process innovation that enables us to help lead change as a responsible global company.”