PPG Collaborates on DOE Grant Projects

Pittsburgh-based PPG Industries' fiberglass business is collaborating with other leaders in glass manufacturing and affiliated organizations on two projects funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

"We constantly seek new, better and more efficient manufacturing methods at PPG," said Victoria M. Holt, vice president, PPG fiber glass. "As global leaders in the glass industry, we understand the importance of cooperating with other entities to advance the field as a whole."

Over the next three years, a team including PPG aims to design, fabricate and validate an oxygen-fuel-fired submerged combustion melting system using a $3.8 million grant. Adoption of this technology throughout the glass manufacturing industry would increase energy efficiency, reduce capital costs and simplify glass-manufacturing systems. PPG participates in the study with the Gas Technology Institute; Corning Inc.; Owens Corning; Schott Glass Technologies, Inc.; Johns Manville; CertainTeed Corp.; Fluent, Inc.; A.C. Leadbetter and Son, Inc.; Praxair, Inc.; Combustion Tec/Eclipse; and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

Another grant provided $125,000 for PPG, the Combustion Tec brand of Eclipse Inc. and the Diagnostic Instrumentation and Analysis Laboratory (DIAL) at Mississippi State University to assess furnace operations and model a method of saving 1 to 5 percent of the total energy consumed by a single glass furnace. The project used a PPG fiberglass furnace with a Combustion Tec burner that was assessed using data collection methods devised by DIAL for high-temperature environments. Data showed a 10 percent increase in energy transfer to the glass and a 20 percent reduction in generation of nitrogen oxides (NOx). The team has documented and written a protocol for achieving energy efficiencies and is in the process of reporting on energy improvements and the assessment methodology.


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