|Title of Invention||
"A PROCESS FOR PRODUCING GLASS"
|Abstract||A method of glass formation which provides for reduced levels of toxic emissions is disclosed wherein conventional batch fining agents such as Na2S04, As205 or Sb205 are used in lesser amounts in combination with dissolved water in the glass making process. Sources of water in the process include alkali-metal hydroxides, steam bubbled into the molten glass, submerged combustion of the glassmelt with H2 and 02, the use of hydrocarbon based combustion. Glass quality is not compromised.|
|Full Text||The present invention relates to a process for producing glass.
FIELD OF THE INVENTION
This invention relates to a method of reducing toxic emissions from glass melting furnaces.
BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
In the production of glass a generalized process is followed wherein glass forming materials such as sand, soda, lime, feldspar, dolomite and recycled glass (commonly referred to as cullet) are mixed into a batch which is melted and fined in a furnace operating at atmospheric pressure and at temperatures of about 800-1300°C and of about 1300-1500°C, respectively. The glass material is then cooled for conditioning, forming and annealing. (See Tooley, The Handbook of Glass Manufacture, 3d. Ed.)
During the melting phase, gases such as C02 and N2 are formed due to various well known reactions. These gases form bubbles or imperfections in the melt which must be eliminated. Fining is the physical and chemical process by which these gases are removed from the glassmelt. As part of this process, various materials known as fining agents are added to the batch glass prior to mixing. The primary role of these
agents is to release gases in the glassmelt at proper fining temperatures which then diffuse into gas bubbles in the glassmelt. As the bubbles become larger their relative buoyancy increases and they rise to the surface of the glassmelt where the gases are released. According to Stokes' law, the speed at which the bubbles move through the glassmelt may be increased by reducing the viscosity of the glassmelt. By increasing glassmelt temperature, more fining gases are released and the viscosity of the glassmelt is reduced. This is why the fining process takes place in the hottest zone in the furnace.
Since a conventional glass melting furnace operates at atmospheric pressure above the glassmelt, the fining process of gas bubbles inside the glassmelt takes place at about 1 to 2 atmospheres depending on the depth of the glassmelt as well as any additional pressure caused by the surface tension effect on small bubbles. (Beerkens, R.G.C., Glastechnische Berichte Vol. 63, 1990, pp. 222-236). Rapid release of fining gases can take place when the glassmelt temperature is increased, the fining agent is dissociated and the partial pressure of fining gases exceeds the internal pressure of gas bubbles. Thus, an effective fining agent for atmospheric pressure glass melting and fining processes must have a property such that as the temperature of the glassmelt is increased to the temperature range where the viscosity of the glassmelt is sufficiently low, i.e., 1300 to 1500 C for soda lime glass, a large amount of fining gases is released. Gases such as 02/ N2, C02, H20 and argon, whose solubilities in glassmelt depend only weakly with temperature, have not been considered as effective
fining agents, either alone or in combination with other known fining agents in an atmospheric pressure glass melting and fining process.
An example of a common fining agent is sodium sulfate, which dissociates to form S02 and 02 gases according to the following reaction:
S042~ (in melt) = S02 (gas) + 1/202 (gas) + 02~ (in melt)
Other sulfate compounds include calcium sulfate and barium sulfate, as well as sulfate containing materials such as filter dust and slags are also used in the batch materials to provide sulfate in glass.
The amount of sulfate used in glass batch depends on the type of glass melted. Typical ranges of sodium sulfate used per metric ton of glass product are 6 to 12kg (3.4 to 6.7kg as S03) for float and oxidized plate glass, 5 to 8kg (2.8 to 4.5kg as S03) for flint bottle glass, 4 to 7kg (2.2 to 3.9kg as S03) for green bottle glass, and 5 to 10kg for textile fiber glass (E-glass). When a large fraction of the charge materials consists of cullet, the requirement for sodium sulfate may be reduced below the ranges shown above since cullet already contains sulfate.
About half of sulfate in the glass batch may be retained in the glass product and the other half evolves as S02 gas during fining and batch melting. S02 gas evolves during batch melting by reacting with carbon and other compounds, including reducing gases in the furnace atmosphere, if present.
S02 as well as other toxic and particulate emissions from glass furnaces are of serious environmental concern. One possible solution to this
problem is the use of oxy-fuel combustion, which uses commercial grade oxygen in place of air. While oxy-fuel combustion has been demonstrated to reduce NOX emissions from gas furnaces by 80 to 99%, methods to reduce other toxic and particulate emissions are still being sought. A major source of these emissions is fining agent reaction products such as S02 which are released during the melting and fining processes.
It is also known that gaseous S02 plays a role in the formation of particulate emissions in the following manner. NaOH which has formed at the glassmelt surface, by the reaction of water vapor and sodium oxide in glassmelt, reacts with S02 and 02 in the regenerator and flue duct to form Na2S04 as well as other sulfate compounds. These compounds condense to form sub-micron sized particles.
There are currently three primary methods used to reduce S02 emissions: 1) reduction in the amount of sulfate in a glass batch, 2) controlling the burner firing conditions -and atmosphere within the furnace to reduce the loss of sulfate during batch melting, and 3) installation-of an S02 scrubber in order to clean flue gas.
For most commercial glass furnaces the amount of sulfate in the glass batch has been adjusted to a lowest acceptable level to operate the furnace properly and to achieve good glass quality. So a further reduction in sulfate would result in poor glass quality. For example the "theoretical minimum limit of sulfate requirement" for float glass is defined as the amount of sulfate retained in glass plus 0.05 wt.% as S03 evolved at the fining zone (W.R.Gibbs and W. Turner, "Sulfate Utilization in Float Glass
Production", 54th Conference in Glass Problems, The Ohio State University, Nov. 1994). Therefore, assuming 0.25 wt.% S03 retention in glass, the minimum sulfate requirement is equivalent to 5.3 kg of sodium sulfate per metric ton of float glass. The actual amount of sulfate mixed in the batch materials is typically much greater.
It is known that impinging flames and reducing combustion atmospheres tend to accelerate batch sulfate reactions and result in premature release of S02 in the batch melting zone. Thus, an adjustment of the burner firing conditions and the furnace atmosphere over the batch area may reduce sulfate emissions without adversely affecting the glass quality.
For glass furnaces equipped with a bag house or an electrostatic precipitator, greater particulates generation may not create a problem. For these furnaces, greater volatilization of sodium in the furnace by high velocity burners or by higher operating temperatures may reduce S02 vapor emissions by forming more Na2S04 particulates. This is not a preferred option, however, as higher sodium volatilization could create refractory corrosion problems. Likewise, installation of an S02 scrubber is not preferred as this incurs additional costs. Thus, the most preferred option to decrease S02 emissions in atmospheric pressure glass melting and fining processes is to reduce batch sulfate, provided that glass fining is not adversely effected.
In the vacuum refining method of glass (Kunkle et al., US Patent 4,738,938 and Pecoraro et al., US Patent 4,919,700) molten glass is transferred in a refining vessel and removal of gas bubbles is accelerated by
reducing the pressure in the vessel. Contrary to an atmospheric pressure glass melting and fining process it is preferable to create a sufficiently large volume of foam for effective removal of dissolvedjgases. In such a system it is not necessary to use a common fining agent such as sodium sulfate that releases gases with increasing glassmelt temperature.
In Figure 1, the solubility of S03 and H20 are plotted against pressure, assuming gas solubility of 0.1 and 0.108 wt.% respectively, at 1500 C. The solubility S03 is known to decrease proportionally with the partial pressure of S03, while the solubility of H20 is known to decrease proportionally to the square root of the partial pressure of H20. For example, if the glassmelt contains 0.4 wt.% S03 and the pressure is reduced to about 0.4 atm, S03 will start to evolve. Similarly, if the glassmelt contains 0.04 wt.% H20 and the pressure is reduced to about 0.14 atm, H20 will
start to evolve. All dissolved gases will start to come out of the glassmelt as the pressure of the glassmelt is reduced below the saturation points of the dissolved gases. Thus, in a vacuum process, any gas with sufficient solubility in glass can be used to expand gas bubbles and create foam for refining, and a fining agent such as S03 is not required.
The role of fining agents and dissolved gases in an atmospheric process, which relies upon an increase in glassmelt temperature for refining, is known to be fundamentally different. In Figure 2, the solubility of S03 and H20 are plotted against temperature at atmospheric pressure. As the temperature of the glassmelt increases, the solubility of S03 decreases sharply and reaches about 0.3 wt.% at 1400 C for float
glass. If this glass initially contains 0.3 wt% of S03 (which exists as S042" in the glassmelt) , then S03 would start to evolve at about 1400 C as the temperature of the melt is increased. (See Gibbs and Turner cited above). By comparison, the solubility of H20 is insensitive to temperature, or even increases slightly with temperature according to some data (F. Kramer, in "Gas Bubbles in Glass", International Commission on Glass, 1985, p. 105, Table II, Ref .)
Thus, even if glass is saturated with water at low temperature, H20 would not be expected to evolve as the temperature of glass is increased. As such, gases such as 02 and H20 whose solubilities in glassmelt are substantially lower than S03 and further, whose solubilities depend only weakly with temperature, have not been considered as effective fining agents in an atmospheric pressure glass melting and fining process.
Another significant difference between vacuum and atmospheric glassmaking processes is that in an atmospheric process the formation of foam in the fining zone must be minimized as it reduces the heat transfer from the flames and furnace crown to the glassmelt and as such reduces the glassmelt temperature required for fining. Although the vacuum refining process can substantially eliminate the need for conventional fining agents, the high costs of such a system make it uneconomic to use in the commercial glass making processes except for the manufacture of a few special glasses.
Accordingly, it is an object of this invention to provide an atmospheric pressure glass melting and refining process which allows for the reduction in batch sulfate as well as other known fining agents
required without adversely effecting the quality of the glass produced.
It is known that water acts as an effective fluxing agent in glassmaking operations by forming hydroxyl groups in the glass molecular structure. A number of methods to increase the quantity of hydroxyl groups in glass have been tried. For example, steam or moist air has been bubbled through molten glass in an electrically heated glass melting furnace (E.N. Boulos et al, in "Water in Glass: A Review", J. Canadian Ceramic Soc. Volume 41, 1972); heating with hydrogen based combustion has been carried out, either above the glass surface or by submerged combustion (K.J. Won et al, in US Pat. 4,545,800); and alkali hydroxyl compounds such as sodium hydroxide, potassium hydroxide and lithium hydroxide have been added to the glass batch during melting (Doi et al in "Uniform Introduction of OH Group into Li20-Al203-Si02 Glass By
Addition of LiOHH20", Japan J. Appl. Phys. Vol 12, 1973). Finally, under oxy-fuel firing, the concentration of water dissolved as OH groups in glass becomes 30% higher as compared to air combustion (Kobayashi and Brown "Is Your Glass Full of Water?" 56th Ann. Conf. on Glass Problems at the University of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign) October, 1995).
However, it has not heretofore been recognized or disclosed that there is a relationship between water content and the atmospheric pressure fining process such that one may effectively reduce the amount of conventional fining agent required to remove a given amount of undissolved gases from a glassmelt.
SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
The invention comprises a method of glass formation which provides for reduced levels of toxic emissions, wherein conventional batch fining agents are used in combination with dissolved water in an atmospheric glass making process.
In a preferred embodiment, the batch fining agent is selected from the group consisting of sulfate compounds, arsenic oxides, antimony oxides and sodium chloride.
In another preferred embodiment, the batch fining agent is selected from the group consisting of arsenic oxides, antimony oxides and sodium chloride.
In another preferred embodiment a source of the dissolved water is at least one of metal hydroxides, submerged combustion of the glassmelt with H2 and 02; heating the glassmelt via oxygen combustion of hydrogen or a hydrocarbon either above the glass surface or by submerged combustion and bubbling steam into the glassmelt.
In another preferred embodiment, the glass making furnace is either an oxy-fuel fired furnace or an air fired furnace.
Another aspect of the invention is glass compositions which are obtained through the above processes.
According to the present invention there is provided a process for producing glass while removing undissolved gases from a glassmelt, wherein fining agent and dissolved water are added to a glassmelt in the molten state and the glassmelt with said fining agent and water is fined to remove the undissolved gases characterized in that the final step is carried out at atmospheric pressure.BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE ACCOMPANYING DRAWINGS
Other objects, features and advantages will occur to those skilled in the art from the following description of preferred embodiments and the accompanying drawings, in which:
Fig. 1 is a graph of SO3 and H2O solubility in glassmelt versus pressure.
Fig. 2 is a graph of S03 and H20 solubility in glassmelt versus temperature.
Fig. 3 is a graph which shows the results of a model which predicts the effects of water concentration and sulfate concentration on bubble rise time.
Fig. 4 is a graph which shows the results of a model which predicts the effects of water concentration and sulfate concentration on bubble rise time.
Fig. 5 shows bubble growth in a mildly oxidized glassmelt at 1450°C and 1500°C for different sulfate and water concentrations.
Fig. 6 is a schematic diagram of a cross-sectional side view of a typical atmospheric glass making furnace of the type used in the invention.
DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION We have found for the purposes of the present invention, that there is a relationship between the amount of water dissolved in the glassmelt and the amount of conventional fining agents required to remove a given quantity of undissolved gas. Thus one may reduce toxic emissions via what may be expressed as a' partial substitution or replacement of conventional f ining_.agents with water that has been dissolved into the glassmelt as hydroxyl groups.v.
The invention may-be accomplished by an atmospheric glassmaking process wherein a first amount of fining agent effective to remove a quantity of undissolved gases from a glassmelt formed from a batch of glass forming materials is determined; a second, lesser amount of said fining agent is added to said batch; the batch is heated to form a glassmelt, and fined to remove all or substantially all of said
quantity of undissolved gases. In this process dissolved water is added in an amount, when combined with said second amount of fining agent, effective to remove all or substantially all of said quantity of undissolved gases from said glassmelt and cooling said glassmelt.
The invention was derived through the following analytical model and demonstrated in laboratory tests.
In the bubble growth model of fining, diffusion of dissolved gases into small bubbles increases the bubble size and accelerates bubble ascension to the glass surface. If one assumes the same initial conditions with respect to the number, _size., and type of .gas bubbles in glassmelt, one may also assume that by keeping the total volume of gases that would be diffused into the bubbles constant, one would achieve the approximately same degree of glass fining, regardless of which gases are diffused.
In light of the above, the volume of S02 required for fining can be potentially reduced, if (a) fewer impurity bubbles are formed initially, (b) other gases replace S02, or (c) glass viscosity is reduced by a higher peaK nning temperature and/or by higher OH concentration. We have determined that the replacement of S02 with H20 is a preferred option.
Water has a very high solubility in glass (about 150 gram mole per m3 of glass or about 1080 wt.ppm at 1 atm for common soda-lime-silicate glasses.) and is non-toxic when emitted into the atmosphere. Other common gases such as C02 and N2 have one to three orders of magnitude lower molar solubilities than that of H20 and as such could not replace fining gases significantly.
The approximate amount of sulfate replaced with additional dissolved water can be estimated by assuming a constant gas volume. One mole of sulfate results in 1.5 moles of fining gas according to the chemical equation set forth above. Thus, 1.5 moles of dissolved H20 (in addition to the H20 already present in glassmelt: typically 35-50 mol/m3 in an air-fuel fired glass furnace) would replace one mole of sulfate. On a weight basis it corresponds to a replacement ratio of 2.9S03: lwater. For example, 0.01 wt.% as S03 in glass is replaced with 0.0034 wt.% (34 wt. ppm) of dissolved H20.
Actual replacement ratios of S03 with dissolved H20 are expected to be much greater for several reasons. The rate of bubble growth is dependent on the diffusion rates of fining gases and water has a much higher diffusivity compared to S02. Water vapor in the bubble reduces the partial pressure of other gases and thus, increases the rate of diffusion of other gases into the bubble. When a bubble grows faster, it ascends faster due to the greater buoyancy effect. The i viscosity of glassmelt is significantly reduced with
higher water content, which also accelerates the fining process. As will be described later, the retention of sulfate in glass is also reduced with higher water [/ Jj>v>«~ content. Thus, the corresponding reduction of sulfate
in batch must be take into consideration, I jive.-~~ " it is recommended to replace sulfate with water at
bow- r ,
/ a mole ratio, measured as mol/m S03 divided by H20
Mol/m3, of preferably 0.25:1 to 10:1, more preferably 0.5:1 to 5:1 and most preferably 0.5:1 to 2:1. Common commercial soda-lime-silicate glasses have a composition, expressed in weight %, of Si02: 71 to 74
%, Na20 plus K20: 12 to 15%, CaO plus MgO: 12 to 14%, A1203: 0.1 to 3.0 %, and other minor constituents or impurities such as selenium and iron. For these glasses, the following ra.ng.es-of sulfate and dissolved water are recommended, assuming that the dissolved water in glassmelt prior to fining in the current practice is 35 to 50 mol/m3. The amount of dissolved water is increased by 20 to 100 mol/m3 and the amount of sulfate is reditceci by 10 to 100 mol/m3 (0.3 to 3.0 kg as S03 per metric ton of glass) .
More specifically, for a float glass comprised of a composition, expressed in weight %, of Si02: 71 to 74%, Na20 plus K20: 12 to 15%, CaO plus MgO: 12 to 14% and A1203: 0.05 to 6.0%, the amount of sulfate as S03 should be greater than 0.08 to 0.2 wt.%/.. preferably 0.10 to 0.20 wt.% and the amount of water should be 0.04 to 0.1 wt.% (400 to 1000 wt.ppm) of water. This may be produced with 1.6 to 3.0 kg of sulfate as S03 per metric ton of glass.
For a flint bottle glass or oxidized plate glass comprised of a composition, expressed in weight %, of Si02: 71 to 74 %, Na20 plus K20: 12 to 15%, CaO plus MgO: 10 to 14% and"Al203: 0.7 to 3%, the amount of sulfate as S03 should be greater than 0.08 to 0.2 wt.%, preferably 0.10 to 0720 wt.% and the amount of water should be 0.04 to 0.1 wt.% (400 to 1000 wt.ppm). This may be produced with 1.6 to 3.0 kg of sulfate as S03 per metric ton of glass.
For a mildly oxidized (green bottle) glass comprised of a composition, expressed in weight %, of Si02: 71 to 74%, Na20_plus-K2O: 12 to 15%, CaO plus MgO: 10 to 14% and A1203: 1,0 to 3%, the amount of sulfate as S03 should be greater than 0.02 to 0.1 wt.%,
preferably 0.05-0.09 wt.% and the amount of water should be 0.04 to 0.1 wt.% (400 to 1000 wt.ppm). This may be produced with 0.3 to 2.0 kg of sulfate as S03 per metric ton of glass. It should be noted, that by the term "mildly oxidized" we mean a glass/ such as a green bottle glass, which has been oxidized to a lesser extent than float or flint glasses.
For a textile fiber glass comprised of a composition, expressed in weight %, of Si02: 52 to 57 %, Na20 plus K20: less than 1%, CaO plus MgO: 20 to 26%, A1203: 13 to 17%, B203: 4 to 8%, the amount of sulfate as S03 should be 0.01 to 0.03%, preferably 0.01 to 0.02 wt.% and the amount of water should be 0.06 to 0.1 wt.% (600 to 1000 wt.ppm). This may be produced with 1 to 5kg of sulfate as S03 per metric ton of glass. Other sulfate compounds such as calcium sulfate and barium sulfate may be used to partially replace sodium sulfate.
By way of comparison, at present typical float and flint soda-lime-silicate glasses are produced in atmospheric air fired furnaces from 3.0 to 6.0 kg of sulfate as S03 per metric ton of glass and comprise between 250-350 wt.ppm water and more than 0.20 wt.% as S03.
For arsenic and antimony fined glasses one mole of As205 or Sb205 would generate one mole of 02 as the fining gas, which could be replaced with one mole of additional H20 dissolved. Similarly one mole of NaCl could be replaced with one mole of additional H20. The actual replacement ratios of these fining agents with water are expected to be greater for the reasons discussed before. Thus, it is preferable to replace 0.2 to 10 moles of arsenic, antimony or sodium chloride
in batch, more preferably 0.4 to 5 moles of arsenic, antimony or sodium chloride in batch, with one mole of additional dissolved water in glassmelt.
As shown above, the product glass manufactured by the method of this invention will contain a reduced concentration of fining product and an increased water content.
We conducted the following experiments and computer simulations to determine the effects of S02 replacement with water upon bubble growth. These are shown in the attached Tables and Figures. These examples are presented for illustrative or comparative purposes and are not intended to be limiting.
Glass batch test samples were prepared from raw materials such as sand, soda, lime, feldspar, dolomite and sodium sulfate typically used in the glass industry. About 90 to 100 grams of batch materials were used for each laboratory melt. Table 1 summarizes calculated compositions of typical test samples in wt.%. The accuracy of calculated values for major components are within +/- 0.3 wt.%.
TABLE 1(Table Removed)
These batch compositions are representative of oxidized glasses used for the production of flint bottle glasses, tablewares and float glass. Batch materials were well mixed in an alumina crucible and placed in an electrically heated laboratory furnace. Within 50 minutes the furnace was heated up to 1250°C to form molten glass. After reaching this temperature, a gas mixture was introduced to the furnace and the same mixture was bubbled through the melt for 30 minutes. This furnace atmosphere was synthesized _by bubbling a nitrogen oxygen gas mixture (98 vol.% N2 and 2 vol.% 02) through a water bath maintained at a constant temperature so as to saturate it with water vapor. The moisture content of the atmosphere was varied by selecting different water bath temperatures.
The glassmelt was then heated up to 1450°C within 20 minutes and kept at the temperature for an additional 20 minutes for fining. These short melting and fining times were chosen so as to allow for observation of differences in the presence of bubbles. Table 2 shows S03 contents and vol.% water vapor in the furnace atmosphere used for three test cases.
TABLE 2(Table Removed)The glass samples were analyzed for sulfate and water contents after each test. The results are shown in Table 3.
-17TABLE 3(Table Removed) calculated by difference (i.e. S03 added to batch minus S03 in glass)
The quality of glass produced was judged by 7
people for three common defects known as bubbles
seeds) , grains (or stones) and. cords, in a scale of 1
to 7 using 2 mm thick polished glass sections cut from the test samples. The presence of bubbles is most
critical. The average scores and standard deviation are presented in Table 4.
TABLE 4(Table Removed)Score 1= highest quality, 7= poorest quality
In spite of the lower sulfate content used in Test C the overall glass quality of sample C was demonstrated to be better than those of samples A and B. Table 3 shows that S03 released during glass fining was significantly lower for Test C. By comparing tests A and C the overall replacement ratio of sulfate in
batch was (0.630-0.370)7(0.0617-0.0155)= 5.6 wt.% S03 per wt.% dissolved water or 1.27 mol of sulfate per mole of water. The sulfate retention in glass was reduced from 0.40 to 0.29 wt.%. Although not tested, we believe that glass having the same quality as obtained in sample B may be attained with even further reduction of sulfate.
Table 5 shows the effects of dissolved water concentration and sulfate concentration on bubble growth time, which was calculated using a mathematical model for bubble growth. This is graphically represented in Figure 3, wherein the Y axis shows the time (in seconds) for a 200 micron initial diameter air bubble to rise from a glass depth of one meter to the free glass surface. This is a good indicator of fining efficiency, as the faster the bubble rises to the surface, the better the fining process.
Time (sec) for a 200 micron diameter air bubble to rise from a glass depth of one meter to the glass surface. (Table Removed)
In Figure 3, Point A (curve 2) shows that the fining time (bubble growth time) is about 10,000 seconds, or 2.78 hours, when the sulfate and dissolved water concentrations in glassmelt are 0.30 wt.% as S03
and 62 -gmmol/m3 respectively, and the fining temperature is 1475°C. This is a baseline condition. When the water concentration is increased under the same conditions, the fining time is reduced to
about 7,300 seconds at 75 gmmCpl/m3 water and to 5,157
seconds at 90 gmmol/m3 water.
Curve 3 shows the effects of sulfate reduction at the same temperature. The fining time is increased to
about 22,000 seconds at 62 gmmol/m3 water, when the amount of sulfate is reduced to 0.25 wt.% as S03 (point A') . As indicated by the horizontal dotted line, and point B, the fining time is reduced to 10,000 seconds,
or to the baseline condition, at about 78 gmmol/m3 water. This example shows that by increasing the
dissolved water content from 62 to 78 gmmol/m3, the sulfate concentration to achieve the same fining time is reduced from 0.30 wt.% S03 to 0.25 wt.% S03. It corresponds to an incremental molar replacement ratio of 1.0 sulfate to 1 water.
Similarly, Curve 4 shows that by further decreasing the sulfate concentration to 0.20 wt.%, the dissolved water content required to achieve the same
fining time is increased to about 92._gm;mol/m3 (Point C) . It corresponds to an incremental molar replacement ratio of 1.1 sulfate to 1 water.
Table 6 shows the effects of dissolved water concentration and fining temperature on bubble growth time. This is graphically represented in Figure 4,
wherein the Y axis shows the time for a 200 micron diameter air bubble to rise from a glass depth of one meter to the free glass surface.(p02=equilibrium oxygen pressure of melt as a measure of oxidation state.)
Time (sec) for a 200 micron diameter air bubble to rise from a glass depth of one meter to the glass surface.
(Table Removed)In the Figure, Points A (Curve 2) and A' (Curve 1) show that a temperature increase of 25°C from 1475°C to
1500°C at a dissolved water content of 62 gmmol/m3 reduces the fining time from 10,000 seconds at the baseline to about 4000 seconds.
Curve 3 shows the effects of a 25°C temperature decrease as compared to Curve 2. Note that the fining time is substantially increased. Again, it is possible to achieve the same fining time as the baseline by
increasing the dissolved water content to 95 gmmol/m3.
Tables 7 and 8 show calculated bubble growth in soda lime glassmelt during sulfate fining in water
containing glassmelt at 1450°C and 1500°C, respectively. These tables are graphically represented in Figure 5, which shows that an air bubble with an initial 200 micrometer diameter will grow much faster
in a melt with higher water content and also at higher temperature.
TABLE 7 (Bubble Diameter (microns) @ 1450°C)
(Table Removed)Although it is also possible to reduce the amount of fining agents by increasing the fining temperature, most commercial glass furnaces already operate close to the maximum refractory temperature and further increases in the-gtass fining temperature is often not practical. On the contrary, reduction of furnace temperature is desirable for many furnaces in order to prolong the furnace life, to reduce volatilization of alkali species, and to reduce particulates and NOx emissions. The present invention offers the benefit of reduction of fining temperature, in place of the reduction of the amount of fining agents. For example Figure 4 shows that the fining temperature is reduced by about 25°C by increasing the water content by about 30 mol/m3. It is also possible to achieve combined reduction in fining agent and fining temperature at reduced proportions such that, as interpolated from Figures 3 and 4, the fining temperature and S03 may be reduced by about 12°C and 0.05 wt.% respectively by increasing the water content by about 30 mol/m3. We believe that a similar relationship is applicable to other glasses such that by substituting a sufficient amount of water for S03, the fining temperature may be reduced by up to 50°C.
As can be seen from the above, one can replace the amount of initial fining agent with dissolved water and still achieve an effective fining process, a result which has not heretofore been recognized. It is believed that a higher content of dissolved water increases the growth of the gas bubble by diffusion of water into the bubble and that the presence of increased water vapor in the glass bubble has the effect of reducing the partial pressure of other gases
in the bubble and accelerating the diffusion of the fining gases (S02, 02) into the bubble. The net result is a much faster removal of gas bubbles from the glassmelt as can be seen from the above simulations, and the benefit derived from this process is the reduction of toxic emissions due to fining agents.
Means for achieving the above levels of dissolved water are discussed below. These methods are discussed with reference to Figure 6 which shows a cross-section of a typical atmospheric pressure glass making furnace 1, having combustion burners 2. The methods include the following: - "^
1) adding at least one metal hydroxide such as
LiOH, KOH, A1(OH)3, NaOH, Mg(OH)2 and Ca(OH)2 to the
glass batch 3 as hydroxyl group sources;
2) injecting steam or moist gases over the
glassmelt 4 in batch melting zone 5, or bubbling steam
or moist air through the glassmelt 4 in the batch
melting zone 5 of glass melting furnace 1;
3) heating with oxygen based (e.g. oxygen enriched
air containing 30 to 100% 02) combustion, especially
with hydrogen or a hydrocarbon fuel with a high
hydrogen to carbon ratio such as methane, either in the
area above the glassmelt 4 or by submerged combustion
(beneath the surface of the glassmelt) at least in the
melting zone 5 of glass furnace 1; and
4) submerged combustion of the glassmelt with H2
When water is dissolved in glassmelt by increasing the partial pressure of water vapor in the furnace atmosphere, it is more effective to create a water rich atmosphere over the batch melting zone 5 and the areas where glassmelt has good convective currents such as
surface areas above the gas bubblers 6 and submerged electrodes 7, and active fining areas 8. Note that a typical furnace may have electrodes and/or bubblers.
It is important to dissolve water into glass at or before the fining zone of a glass furnace for water to enhance the fining process. The zone between the batch charging end and the fining area is especially important. It is not critical to this invention to maintain a high water content of glass after the fining reactions have been completed.
The above disclosed invention may be practiced with any effective atmospheric glassmaking furnace arrangement including, but not limited to oxy-fuel or air-fuel furnaces.
Specific features of the invention are shown in one or more of the drawings for convenience only, as each feature may be combined with other features in accordance with the invention. Alternative embodiments will be recognized by those skilled in the art and are intended to be included within the scope of the claims.
1. A process for producing glass while removing undissolved gases
from a glassrnelt said process comprising:
a) adding fining agent and dissolved water to a glass melt in the
b) firing in a conventional manner glassrnelt with said fining agent
and water to remove the undissolved gases
characterized in that the final step is carried out at atmospheric pressure.
2. The process as claimed in claim 1, wherein said fining agent is
selected from the group consisting of sulfur containing materials,
sulfate compound, arsenic oxides, antimony oxides and sodium
3. The process as claimed in claim 1, wherein the amount of
dissolved water partially replacing said fining agent is in an
amount sufficient to reduce the fining temperature by 50°C.
4. The process as claimed in claim 1, wherein said fining agent is
one or more sulfate compounds or sulfur containing materials
such as herein described.
5( The process as claimed in claim 1, wherein said dissolved water is in the form of hydroxyl groups and a source of said hydroxyl groups is at least one or both of sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide which has been added to said batch of glass containing materials.
6. A process for producing glass substantially as hereinbefore described with reference to the accompanying drawings.
|Indian Patent Application Number||1556/DEL/1998|
|PG Journal Number||10/2008|
|Date of Filing||08-Jun-1998|
|Name of Patentee||PRAXAIR TECHNOLOGY, INC.,|
|Applicant Address||39 OLD RIDGEBURY ROAD, DANBURY, STATE OF CONNECTICUT 06810-5113, U.S.A.|
|PCT International Classification Number||C03C 1/00|
|PCT International Application Number||N/A|
|PCT International Filing date|