Research Project Summary Information
Process Improvements for Radiant Tube Inserts(ST8700-1)
The United Sstates metal heat treating industry has 21,000 indirectly heated natural gas fired furnaces that use 250,000 metal alloy radiant tubes. Radiant tubes are fired at an average rate of 300,000 Btu /hr using a total of nearly 300 trillion Btus per year in the U.S. New York State is home to 3% of the U.S. heat treating market that uses about nine billion Cu.Ft. (1030 Btu/Cu Ft) of natural gas, costing over $40 million dollars ($4.50 per 1,000 Cu Ft) per year.
A typical radiant “U” tube has an efficiency of 40%. Use of ceramic inserts is expected to improve the radiant tube efficiency to an average of 50% and therefore cut the natural gas consumption by an average of 20%. Natural gas savings in New York State alone could accrue to 2.25 trillion Btus or nearly $10 million. For heat treatment facility operators, such savings translate into over $1,200 per year per radiant tube. Associated reductions in CO2 and NOx emissions are also expected. The Contractor, with support from NYSERDA in the first phase of this project has developed a very low cost oxide coil insert product. The market for SyCore’s radiant tube inserts could grow significantly depending on the results of the needs assessment.
There are three primary activities in the project:
1. Determine through a market survey if the sales volume of inserts can be increased by reducing their selling price
2. Determine if producing the new low cost oxide coil inserts, and distributing them with a different lower cost sales method is a more profitable method than the current SiC insert business model
3. Develop a commercialization plan for the new low cost oxide coil inserts
The actual energy cost savings and economic benefits for SyCore Inc. will be quantified in the reporting phase of the project.
If the oxide coil inserts are commercialized there will be energy cost reductions and productivity benefits for the New York State furnace users, which will help their economic health. Eventually, sales will target the entire United State and Canada. SyCore's energy costs to manufacture per insert produced will be significantly reduced and the volume of production and sales revenue should increase as well. There will be environmental benefits of reductions in NOx pollution and CO2 emissions because less natural gas will be consumed in industrial furnaces using the radiant tube inserts.
While the project achieved technical success, SyCore has had serious business problems with its business partners who view the project technology as competition with the Silicone Carbide inserts they now manufacture. At this point SyCore does not have the funds to move forward with commercialization of the oxide coil insert technology.
2648 Ransomville Road
Ransomville, NY 14131
On-site Process Improvement
NYSERDA Contact Information
R&D - Mfg Tech & On-Site Pwr