Environmental Engineers

Glass Manufacturing

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Glass for windows and containers is made from sand and limestone - the same materials used for centuries. Glass manufacturing plants require air quality permits from federal and state environmental protection agencies. Wingra Engineering has obtained permits for numerous plants in the U.S. and continues to help comply with protection requirements on a day to day basis.

Wine Bottle Manufacturing Plant in Washington State

In 2010, Wingra Engineering coordinated environmental approvals to re-open a wine bottle manufacturing plant in Kalama, Washington. The existing glass furnace was replaced with a new electrically-assisted, oxygen-fired melting furnace which reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions by 90% compared to traditional container glass furnaces. Wingra worked with the German furnace and air pollution control system manufacturers to assure compliance with federal, state and local air pollution control requirements. The project design reduced emissions below minor air pollution source thresholds so only local permit approval by the Southwest Clean Air Agency was required. Besides obtaining the local air quality permit, Wingra verified the project met state environmental policy act requirements. The plant began operation in 2012.

Float Glass Plant near Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks

In 2004, Wingra Engineering successfully obtained air quality permits for a 650 ton per day float glass plant in Washington State. This plant used a 200 mmbtu per hour natural gas fired regenerative furnace to melt sand, limestone and other raw materials to generate a continuous 16 foot wide ribbon of flat glass for windows and other glass applications. The project required approval by the local air quality agency, Washington Department of Ecology, and oversight by the U.S Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Forest Service, and National Park Service. Locating a new air pollution source near national parks and wilderness areas increases the need for a more thorough evaluation of air quality impacts and available emission control methods.

The project required issuance of a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) air quality permit requirements including an evaluation of Best Available Control Technology (BACT) and near-field air quality impacts. As BACT, the plant was equipped with air pollution control systems for the control of PM, SO2 and NOx emissions. A spray drier - electrostatic precipitator was used to control PM and SO2 emissions. NOx was controlled using the 3R Process, a combustion technique unique to regenerative furnace float glass plants which uses excess natural gas to create a reducing atmosphere, similar to the reburn process used in coal-fired boilers.

Due to complex terrain near the project site, a more accurate near-field modeling analysis was conducted using the AERMOD dispersion model and meteorological data collected near the site. Project impacts were below the significant impact levels for all air pollutants except NOx. As a result, a regional inventory of NOx emissions sources was developed to model the combined impact from the project and surrounding emission sources, and verify compliance with air quality standards.

As Washington State does not have a SIP-approved PSD program, USEPA Region 10 provided additional review to verify compliance with the PSD regulations.

The project was located within 200 kilometers of seven Class I air quality areas including Mount Rainier and Olympic National Parks. A separate evaluation was required by the National Park Service and U.S. Forest Service to assess far-field impacts on air quality standards, and air quality related values including regional visibility and acid deposition. Far-field impacts were estimated using the CALPUFF model. The project was determined to have insignificant impacts for all air quality standards and AQRV.

While prior float glass projects elsewhere in the U.S. had established BACT for the industry without the use of add-on control equipment, the proximity to the Class I areas required greater control of plant air pollution emissions. Additional control measures included use of a spray drier-electrostatic precipitator control system for glass furnace PM and SO2 emissions and a selective catalytic reduction system to control NOx emissions from backup emergency generator.

A technical paper on the techniques used for this project was presented at the national conference of the Air & Waste Management Association in 2006. An abstract and full text of the paper are available on the Wingra web site.