Stafford, Texas

Ratio Control in Burner or Furnace

  • Applying the appropriate gas flow meters in burners and furnaces can provide the control required to achieve an ideal fuel ratio
  • A Commander / Responder (Master / Slave) system can be used where the fuel is supplied by a Commander flow meter and the oxygen is supplied by a correlating Responder flow meter
  • MASS-STREAM gas flow meters offer the fast response time and flow stability required to decrease NOx production while maintaining ample supply for combustion

Processes involving burners, such as welding or cutting, and even furnace applications require efficient management of gas supply. So gas flow control and balancing ratio control is the key to successful combustion in these areas. Our flow solutions from Bronkhorst for burner applications are designed to meet the high demands of these processes.

Superior Ratio Control in Burner Applications

For burner and furnace processes, it is essential that the oxidant / fuel mixture is reproducible. And there must always be an ideal quantity of gas to avoid flame extinction or the increase in NOx (nitrogen oxides) production during combustion. Also, when using natural gas, it is necessary to minimize the pressure drop of the flow controller. Burner and furnace manufacturers require solutions for their machines that are robust, easy to install and commission, and offer different communication modes.

Criteria for Optimized Burner and Furnace Operation

  • Precise dosing of the delivered gases
  • Stability
  • Reproducibility
  • Flexibility

Fuel to Oxidant Ratio Control

In combustion, two gases are often required. First, a fuel such as methane, propane, and acetylene is needed. Secondly required for combustion is an oxidant, either atmospheric air or simply oxygen in the case of oxy-fuel combustion. And to achieve ideal combustion while maintaining the dynamics of the burner, it is crucial to precisely control the ratio between the two gases. Thus, the stoichiometry of the reaction must be controlled to ensure complete combustion of air to avoid safety problems. Simultaneously, to avoid excessive gas expenditure and to limit NOx emissions, the air supply to the reaction must be minimized.


Applying the appropriate gas flow meters, such as the MASS-STREM Series from Bronkhorst, in burners and furnaces can provide the control required to achieve an ideal fuel ratio. A Commander / Responder (Master / Slave) solution can successfully provide a proportional gas flow with the necessary stability. With the combustion gas supply from one flow controller (Commander), the oxidant gas can be delivered in the correct proportion by another flow controller (Responder). Thus ensuring constant mixing. Flow instrumentation must have a fast response time which, combined with the stability of the flow controllers, guarantees a constant flame.

Additionally, this solution avoids issues related to pressure conditions such as a dirty burner, even if the burner back pressure increases. The combination of flow meter, valve, and control loop will compensate for back pressure by acting on the valve opening of the instruments. So this system will maintain process stability on its own accord. Also, action on the valve is notated in a data acquisition system to allow future prevention and help eliminate production stops. 

Our MASS-STREAM flow controller instruments are a perfect fit for these applications.

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