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Oxygen enrichment in steel production

by Minxing on December 11, 2010 Reheating process is the final heating process in steel production. Semi-production need to be reached uniform temperature during this process. This process is one of the biggest energy consumers at site. Energy consumption, processing heat and pollution formation can be represented by the chemical reaction:

Therefore, reducing the exhaust of N2 by using oxygen-enriched air can increase energy efficiency, reduce flue gas losses and emissions in furnaces. Schele (2007) stated that the max efficiency of oxyfuel combustions is 72% without heat recovery. The technology of oxygen enrichment in combustion air has been used in steel sectors for decades. Two problems have been addressed from the real production. One is the increase in flame temperature. The other is the potential of NOX forming. Compared with conventional oxy-enrichment, flameless oxyfuel combustion became attractive to steel manufacturing. The first flameless oxyfuel combustion furnace was installed in 2003. Today, more than 115 reheat furnaces and annealing lines have been equipped with flameless oxyfuel (Schele et al, 2009). Flameless combustion means the flame is no longer seen or detected by human eye. There are two ways to obtain flameless oxyfuel combustion. One is to dilute the flame by recirculating part of its flue gas to the burners. The other is to use separated injection of fuel and oxygen at high velocities (Schele et al, 2009). Fredriksson et al (2008) stated that flameless oxyfuel combustion reduced heating time by 66% at Ovako, Hofor Works, Sweden.

Till now, some steel companies have implemented flameless oxyfuel combustion, including ArcelorMittal, Ascomtal (SeverStal), Bhler-Uddeholm (Voestalpine), Cosipa, Dongbei Special Steel, Outokumpu, Ovako, Scana Steel and SSAB (Schele et al, 2009).For example, Outokumpu stainless steel rebuilt a walking beam furnace in Degerfors plant, Sweden. The air-fuel system was replaced by flameless oxyfuel in the furnace by Linde group. The flameless oxyfuel increased heating capacity by 40%-50% and reduced fuel consumption by 25%. The NOX emissions were below 70 mg/MJ (Ljungars 2004).

In a long term, converting airfuel burners to flameless oxyfuel burners is an optional for energy efficiency improvement in Gerdau Ameristell MRM. From the experiences of other steel companies, flameless oxyfuel combustion will reduce fuel consumption and CO2 emissions by 50%, increase heating capacity by 50% and reduce NOX emission to below 70 mg/MJ level (Scherello, 2007).

Fredriksson, P., Vesterberg, P., Claesson, E., Moroz, G., & Von Scheele, J. (2008). Ovako, Hofors Works 13 Years Experience of Using Oxyfuel for Steel Reheating; Background, Solutions and Results. Iron & Steel Technology, 5(5), 323-328. Ljungars, S. Gartz, M. & Von Scheele, J. (2004). Boosting heating capacity using new technology. Nordic Steel & Mining Review. 49-50. Schele, J.V, Ritzn, O., & Zilka, V.(2009). Substantial reduction of fuel consumption, CO2 and NOX emissions when at same time increasing production capacity. Metal,5. 1921 Scherello, A.(2007). Self recuperative burners, Heating processing. International magazine for industrial furnaces, heat treatment plants and equipments, 1. 51-53 Scherello, A., Hgner, W., Claesson, E., Bamforth, P., & Mercier,C. (2007). State-of-theart oxyfuel solutions for reheating and annealing furnaces in steel industry. Proc. METEC InSteel Con, Dsseldorf, Germany. Tagged as: Environment, steel Comments on this entry are closed. Previous post: Collapse of Chicago Climate Exchange Next post: Marketing Lecture 09

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