Cleaner combustion with oxyfuel
Oxyfuel combustion is currently used quite broadly across the aluminium industry and is also used in the production of stainless steel and glass. The technology involves burning oxygen and methane/propane to produce a flame temperature in excess of 2,000 degrees C.
“In this way, you get cleaner combustion,” says Johansson. “It’s not necessary to introduce nitrogen into the combustion, which generates flue gases and nitrogen oxide emissions. And an added bonus was that we also got a better working environment when we stopped having to clean the ceramic media beds in the regenerative burners.”
Aluminium melted down much faster
Other advantages of oxyfuel combustion include that the temperature in the furnace becomes more even and that the melting down of the aluminium metal is achieved faster. The oven also requires less maintenance, which means that the operating costs are diminished.
“Critics of oxyfuel combustion sometimes point out that oxygen is expensive, but we believe the many advantages outweigh the disadvantages,” says Johansson.