BRAMPTON, Ontario—Zochem Inc. has improved the efficiency of five furnaces, reducing the amount of natural gas used per ton of zinc oxide produced, among other unit cost reduction methods to save hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The firm said it uses natural gas to melt and vaporize pure zinc to be oxidized further into zinc oxide. According to Zochem, the amount of natural gas it reduced is the equivalent to removing about 420 passenger vehicles off the road each year.
Zochem said the project qualified for a financial incentive program through Zochem's natural gas distributor, Enbridge Gas. Zochem Quality Manager Mona Ghanam worked closely with the natural gas provider to ensure the improvements were quantifiable.
These improvements included relining furnace insulations, rebuilding arches and increasing heat transfer efficiency. The program incentive resulted in $80,601.88 toward the funding of the project, Zochem said.
The firm said future efficiency improvements for Furnaces six and seven are expected to yield relatively similar results.
Headquartered in Brampton, Zochem produces zinc oxide for use in the tire, rubber products, chemicals, ceramics, coatings, pharmaceuticals and agriculture industries. The firm employs 45 at its 85,000-sq.-ft. facility.