ARB Research Seminar

This page updated June 19, 2013

Innovative Clean Air Technologies Grant Report: Oscillating Combustion on a High-Temperature Forging Furnace

Harry S. Kurek, P.E., and John C. Wagner, Ph.D., Gas Technology Institute

August 30, 2001
Cal EPA Headquarters, 1001 "I" Street, Sacramento, CA

Research Project


Gas Technology Institute (GTI) has developed a system for reducing the formation of NOₓ in high-temperature industrial furnaces, such as glass furnaces, forges, metal-melters, and cement kilns. Such furnaces generally do not have flue gas treatment for NOₓ and cannot employ highly effective combustion modifications. In GTI's system, the flow of natural gas to the burners is pulsed with a special valve, creating a sequence of rich and lean sub-zones in the combustion zone of the furnace. This rich-lean pattern reduces the formation of NOₓ in the flame. In the ICAT project, GTI has installed and tested oscillating-flow valves on a forging furnace at Shultz Steel Company in South Gate, California. With these valves, GTI achieved almost 50 percent reduction of NOₓ.

Speaker Biography

Mr. Kurek is Manager of Industrial Combustion Processes at GTI in Des Plaines, Illinois. He is responsible for project management in the research, development, demonstration, and commercialization of technologies related to the metals industries. Before GTI, Mr. Kurek worked for 31 years at Inland Steel Company in the engineering and management of projects in combustion, energy conservation, pipeline operations, and maintenance.

Mr. Kurek holds a B.S. in Technology and an M.S. in Industrial Management, both from Purdue University. He is a registered Professional Egineer and a member of ASME International.

Dr. Wagner is a Principal Combustion Engineer at GTI in Des Plaines, Illinois. He is responsible for conducting research activities related to high-temperature combustion processes and combustion control strategies. Before joining GTI in 1992, Dr. Wagner worked as a Research Assistant at the University of Florida.

Dr. Wagner holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in Mechanical Engineering, all from the University of Florida. He is a Certified Engineer Intern and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

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