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ISSN 1068 364X, Coke and Chemistry, 2013, Vol. 56, No. 4, pp. 126136. Allerton Press, Inc.

., 2013. Published in Russian in Koks i Khimiya, 2013, No. 4, pp. 2233.

COKE

Coal Blend MoistureA Boon or Bane in Cokemaking?1


S. K. Dasa, A. S. Nandyb, A. Paulb, B. K. Sahooa, B. Chakrabortya, and A. Dasa
Research & Development Centre for Iron and Steel, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL), Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand 827001, India bBokaro Steel Plant, Steel Authority of India Ltd. (SAIL), Bokaro Steel City, Jharkhand 827001, India e mail: skdasju@gmail.com, skdasju@sail rdcis.com
Received February 8, 2013
a

AbstractA by product coke making plant is required to supply sufficient coke of good quality and adequate gas of high calorific value for the integrated steel plant to be a going concern. The one element that influences the handling of coal and impacts the operation and efficiency of the plant is moisture. Compared to other important properties of the coal blend, moisture can be easily manipulated. The coal moisture can be increased simply by adding water through hose pipes. Also, it can be reduced to 56 mass percent using Coal Moisture Control (CMC) and 24 mass percent using Dry cleaned & Agglomerated Pre compaction Sys tem (DAPS). Moisture content is one among the many variables affecting the bulk density of coal blend and those controlling the coke qualities and yield. Increase in moisture reduces coal grind ability, coking pressure and internal gas pressure; helps in dust suppression during charging and hence reduces jamming of ascension pipes and hydraulic main. Batteries charging coals with high moisture content are not troubled with roof car bon deposits. It was observed that when moisture content in coal blend of SAIL Bokaro Steel Plant increased to more than 8.50%, the calorific value of coke oven gas improved. In the working moisture range of 911%, the increase of the yield of coke oven gas per 1% of working moisture is 5.2 m3. Studies have shown, however, that the increase in moisture content of coal beyond 8% hampers strong coke formation. Pre carbonization preheating process generally showed an increase in the proportion of 4080 mm coke, compared with wet charges. For SAIL Bokaro coke ovens, driving out 1% moisture from coal blend requires 125 Mega calories of heat/oven. With lesser moisture, the emission of NOx in atmosphere will also be low. On using dry to low moisture coal blend, the swelling of coke mass increases leading to difficulty in oven pushings. Hence, an optimum level of moisture content of charge coal needs to be maintained for improving coke oven produc tivity, coke quality and operational smoothness. The coke oven managers all around the globe maintain this optimum level according to their requirement, the operating conditions, the quality of product and by prod ucts, the oven health & age and the ease of handling. Keywords: Coal blend moisture, bulk density, roof carbon deposit, coke oven gas, coke quality, smooth oper ation DOI: 10.3103/S1068364X13040030
1

1. INTRODUCTION

Coke is one of the most important and expensive raw materials used in the production of hot metal through Blast Furnace route. In order to ensure that a blast furnace can operate stably at a high rate of pro ductivity and at low cost, it is important for the coke production process to be able to supply adequate amounts of coke of uniform quality in a stable manner and at low cost. The quality parameters of coke are characterized by its chemical properties (Ash, Mois ture, Volatile Matter, Fixed carbon), Porosity, Cold Properties (Micum Indices M10 & M40), Hot Proper ties (Coke Strength after Reaction, Coke Reactivity Index). A typical Coke quality at SAIL Bokaro Steel Plant is presented in Table 1.
1 The article is published in the original.

These quality parameters of coke are dependent on chemical properties (Ash, VM, Moisture, and Fixed Carbon), Rheological properties (FSI, LTGK, Fluid ity) and Rank parameters (Ro, MMR, Vitrinite con tent etc.) of coal blend along with health of the coke oven batteries, its operational discipline and heating regime. For ease of understanding, the moisture content in coal blend has been categorized and shown in Table 2. A typical property of coal blend at SAIL Bokaro Steel Plant is presented in Table 3. The one element that influences the handling of coal and impacts the operation and efficiency of the plant is moisture. Moisture content in coal blend is one of the most important properties whose contribu tion remains more or less unnoticed. The paper dis cusses the role of moisture in good quality coke pro duction and smooth operation in coke oven battery.

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COAL BLEND MOISTUREA BOON OR BANE IN COKEMAKING? Table 1. Typical coke quality at SAIL Bokaro Steel Plant Properties Moisture Volatile Matter Ash M10 M40 CSR CRI Porosity >80 mm in BF Coke <25 mm in BF Coke Unit % % % % % % % % % % 1 4.85 0.76 16.59 10.28 77.58 65.60 21.64 46.09 13.15 4.54 2 4.83 0.75 16.63 10.29 77.45 65.26 21.78 46.10 13.46 4.73 3 5.07 0.75 16.60 10.19 77.99 65.63 21.80 45.96 12.89 4.56 4 5.01 0.76 16.32 10.32 77.95 63.33 23.11 46.14 12.75 4.37 5 4.84 0.77 15.27 10.31 76.70 64.00 22.54 46.18 11.05 4.66 6

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4.82 0.77 15.53 9.74 77.45 65.26 22.23 46.15 11.19 4.64

Table 2. Nomenclature of coal blend with varying moisture content Range of Moisture, % Less than 2% 2 to 6 % 6 to 9 % More than 9 % Dry Coal Low moisture Coal Medium moisture Coal High moisture Coal Nomenclature Achieved by Dry cleaned & Agglomerated Pre compaction System (DAPS) Coal Moisture Control (CMC) Generally Moisture of incoming coals (except in rainy season) Water addition

Compared to other important properties of the coal blend, moisture can be easily manipulated. The mois ture content of blend coal can be increased by install ing a very simple system and with a great degree of ease. Systems (CMC, DAPS etc.) have also been developed for reducing moisture in coal blend and are in practice in many places. 2. DIFFERENT TYPES OF COAL MOISTURE First of all let us try to understand the definition of moisture in coal blend. The moisture in coal is charac

terized by the way it is measured. The different ways are enumerated below [1]: 1. Inherent/ Bed/ Equilibrium/ Capacity/ Analytical Moisture: It is the water held within the pores and cap illaries of coal. The Inherent Moisture in coal decreases with an increase in its rank. 2. Surface/Free Moisture: It is the water held on the surface of coal. 3. Air dry Loss Moisture: It is the loss in weight of the coal sample which results from the partial drying of coal.

Table 3. Typical coal blend properties at SAIL Bokaro Steel Plant Properties Working Moisture Volatile Matter Ash Crushing Index (3.2 mm) <0.5 mm in Blend Total Imported Coal FSI LTGK Maximum Fluidity
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Unit % % % % % %

1 8.49 23.13 12.68 82.41 43.43 74.28 56.5 G3 G3 550


2013

2 8.5 23.19 12.70 82.39 43.09 75.67 57 G3 G4 466

3 8.6 23.26 12.65 82.36 43.32 79.86 56.5 G3 G4 305

4 8.60 23.10 12.34 82.93 43.27 78.00 66.5 G3 G4 318

5 8.6 23.40 11.54 82.57 43.52 77.00 5.56 G3 G4 246

6 8.49 23.34 11.78 82.62 43.56 76.67 5.56 G2 G3 332

DDPM
No. 4

128 Table 4. Main specification of CMC equipment SN 1. Dryer Item Description Indirect heating rotary dryer type 260 t/h 1 Set 2. Equipment for heat recovery 1) Coke oven waste gas

DAS et al.

existing systems. These systems are in practice at many places. The process descriptions of the systems which reduce moisture in coal blend are outlined below: 3.1. Coal Moisture Control (CMC) The development of coal moisture control tech niques utilizing medium to low temperature waste heat (i.e., the sensible heat of coke oven generated gas and combustion waste gas) commanded considerable attention in the coke manufacturing in the years fol lowing 1975. The first practical model of CMC equipment uti lizing waste heat was put in operation in the No. 1 and No. 2 coke oven batteries of the Oita Works in Septem ber 1983 [2], and has been operating satisfactorily since then, recording greater energy savings and higher coke quality and productivity. All the coal that has been blended and crushed is dried continuously under an automatic control system. The sensible heat recovered from the coke oven com bustion waste gas and the gas generated in the ovens as it moves through the flue and ascension pipe is used by the dryer to de moisturize the coal. The heat transfer medium is continuously circulated through the system. This process is capable of reducing the moisture content of wet coal (711%) to a constant 5%. Outline of CMC Equipment The major equipment specifications are shown in Table 4. The process flow is shown in Fig. 1. Features of CMC equipment are outlined as follows [3]: Considering the effects of dust emission, its carry over and the amount of recoverable heat, it was decided to restrict moisture level to 5% and accord ingly equipment planning was done. The sensible heat of combustion waste gas from coke oven and the gas generated in the coke oven are recovered using a heat carrying medium (Alkyl di phenyl) first in the flues and then in the ascension pipe. Two heat exchangers at waste gas flues and 78 heat exchangers in ascension pipes are installed to obtain the heat source for reducing the moisture con tent of 240 t of coal/h from 9% to 5% and the amount of heat is balanced so that the coal can be dried by the recovered heat only. This heat is utilized at a coal dryer to dry the total quantity of charging coal after blending and crushing. The heat carrier is recirculated. A highly accurate moisture gauge enables the moisture content of coal to be controlled to a constant value by feed forward and feedback control systems. One heating furnace is installed to supply heat to the heat carrying medium to make up for the addi tional heat requirement when moisture in charging coal increases during rainfall.
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1 co: 4.95 106 kcal/h 3 co: 55.40 106 kcal/h 1 co: 3.90 106 kcal/h 3.95 106 kcal/h 1 set 1200 t/h 4 sets 290 t/h 1 set 1165 m3/min 1 set

2) Coke oven gas 3. Heating furnace 4. Coal conveyor

5. Bag filter

4. Residual Moisture: It is that moisture which remains in the sample after determining the Air dry Loss Moisture. 5. Total/As received Moisture: It is the loss in weight of the coal sample under rigidly controlled conditions of temperature, time and air flow. It is the sum of Inherent and Free Moisture as well as that of Air dry Loss Moisture and Residual Moisture. When we cal culate the percent weight loss till constant weight of 1 g of a 200 micron sized coal sample taken in a moisture dish at 108 2C in an air oven, we get the Total Mois ture of that coal. 6. Working Moisture: It refers to the percent loss of weight of coal sample when 200 gms sample (3.2 mm size in case of blend coal & 12.5 mm size in case of individual coals) is heated at 108 20C in an air oven for more than 1 hour till constant weight. 7. Decomposition Moisture: It is produced from the thermal decomposition of organic constituents of coal. 8. Water of Hydration of Mineral Matter: It is the water that is present in the crystal lattices of the clay and inorganic minerals in coal. 3. SYSTEMS FOR CONTROLLING COAL BLEND MOISTURE Maintaining medium to high level moisture in coal blend is relatively easy. In many cases, the moisture level of different individual incoming coals is sufficient to fulfill this objective. Sometimes water is also added, particularly during summer season, through hose pipes or sprinklers to increase the moisture level in the coal blend. For maintaining moisture in dry to low levels, sys tems have been developed and incorporated in the

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3 (To coke oven) Moisture controlled coal (Moisture: about 5%)

Coke oven 5 7 6

195C 1

Combustion waste gas 3 150C

15C Wet coal (Moisture: 711%)

80C Organic heat transfer medium circulation line


Fig. 1. Flow diagram of CMC process. 1Dryer; 2furnace; 3heat exchanger; 4ascension pipe; 5chamber COG; 6COG; 7regenerator.

A cooler is installed for the heat carrier to con sume the heat recovered during the stoppage of the dryer. The ascension pipe heat exchangers are equipped with a water cooled jacket in order to pre vent abnormal temperature rise of the heat carrier when the pump to circulate the carrier gets out of order. Outcome of CMC techniques are increase in pro ductivity (about 11%) due to increase of bulk density and decrease of coking time; decrease in heat con sumption (2326 Mega calories/t dry coal per 1% moisture reduction); decrease in the yield of coke breeze (>2.0%); slight increase in dust carry over. 3.2. Dry Cleaned and Agglomerated Pre compaction System (DAPS) Reducing coal moisture below 5% is difficult because the lower the coal moisture is, the more dust will be generated. This is because, the quasi particles in which coal fines adhere to the coarse particle sur face collapse due to surface moisture and become individual particles. This collapse of quasi particles proceeds until coal moisture is lowered to the 2% level, at which level, surface moisture is almost completely removed. From this result it was judged that fine coal can be separated by lowering coal moisture to the 2% level. However, the lower limit of charging coal moisture was about 5% using CMC equipment. Nippon Steel succeeded in developing dry cleaned and agglomer ated pre compaction system (DAPS) for lowering the moisture of charging coal as far as possible. In this sys
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tem, a coal preparation process was undertaken that involves separating coal fines, which cause dust gener ation, from dried charging coal and agglomerating them. The equipment incorporating this system was installed in the No. 3 and No. 4 coke batteries at Oita Works and brought into full scale operation in Sep tember 1992 [4]. The equipment has since been oper ating smoothly. DAPS Plant Flow The flow of the DAPS process is shown in Fig. 2. Nippon Steel developed a large size (280 tons/ hr.) single unit for coal drying and classifying. A fluidized bed dryer is used for drying and classifying of coal and a system was devised by which the coal fines mechanically adhering to coarse grains are washed off by the action of rubbing of particles within the fluidized bed. A classifying zone in which the coking coal is classified into fine coal and coarse grain coal is pro vided in the rear part of the fluidized bed. The classified fine coal is collected by a dust col lector and is fed to a roll compactor, where it is agglomerated. For the agglomeration of fine coal, the limit value of compacting force and the maximum value of grain size of fine coal were set at 2000 kg/cm2 and 0.3 mm, respectively. The agglomerated coal is mixed with the coarse grain coal and fed to the coke oven as DAPS coal for coking. It is considered that coke quality is improved in DAPS owing to the improvement in the bulk density of

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DAS et al.

Coking coal

1 4 5 4 9 10 2 6 11 12 7 13 Agglomerated coal

Air, MG

14

Nos. 3 and 4 coke oven batteries


Fig. 2. DAPS plant flow in Nippon Steel. 1Coking coal bin; 2dry classifier; 3hot air generation furnace; 4very fine coal; 5bag; 6coarse coal; 7coarse coal hopper; 8DAPS coal bin; 9distribution hopper; 10agglomeration hopper; 11screw feeder; 12agglomerator; 13screen; 14recovery line.

charging coal, which is caused by a decrease in the moisture of charging coal, and the improvement in dilatation, which is caused by the agglomeration of coal fines. 4. EFFECT OF COAL MOISTURE An ideal moisture distribution is to ensure the qual ity of coke, and to achieve the goals of decreasing fuel consumption, prolonging the battery life and reducing the air pollution. In coke making, the effects of coal blend moisture which is mainly working moisture can be broadly classified into three categories: A. Coal blend characteristics/quality Bulk density of coal charge Grind ability of coal charge B. Coke oven operational parameters Handling factors Roof carbon deposition Coking pressure Coke oven gas formation Internal gas/wall pressure characteristics Calorific value of coke oven gas Heat consumption C. Coke Characteristics Coke size Coke strength

Coke shrinkage Manufacturing cost of coke 4.1. Bulk Density of Coal Charge Bulk density and variations in bulk density of crushed coal can have a significant effect on coke oven productivity and coke quality. Moisture content is one of the most important parameters among the many variables affecting the bulk density of coal blend and those controlling the coke qualities and yield. Bulk density reaches a maximum for dry coal and decreases to a minimum [5], depending on the size consist of coal, between 6 and 10% moisture, and increases again with further increase in moisture content (Fig. 3). Box bulk density plot is shown in Fig. 4 [4]. On an average, the bulk density is 700780 kg/m3 of dry coal in top charging, and 9001000 kg/m3 in stamping operations. A uniform bulk density of the coal charged in the ovens results in uniform coke strength. For this the moisture in the coal must be uni form or oil is to be added to iron out the variations and achieve uniformity. Though increase in bulk density of coal through moisture addition leads to higher coal throughput and easier pushing due to less swelling of the coal charge, it also requires higher coking time and greater heat consumption to form the final coke. The charge density of wet coal is always lower than that of dry coal. Whatever be the size of the coal parti
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900

cles charged in an oven, the bulk density of the coal charge decreases up to 89% moisture content and then again increases. Hence a balance needs to be struck for keeping the moisture in charge coal such that all the parameters involved are optimized. 4.2. Grind ability of Coal Charge

Bulk density, kg/m3

800

2 3

700

4 600

The coals received from different sources needs to be blended and grind in a crusher unit to a specific size before charging inside an oven. The size requirement for SAIL Bokaro coal blend is that at least 82% of coal passes through 3.2 mm screen with a minimum gen eration of micro fines (0.5 mm). The power require ment for grinding depends on the grinding character istic of individual coal. Increase in moisture reduces coal grind ability for coals of a given rank [7]. This in turn does not allow the coal to be crushed uniformly, and diminishes coal flow ability. This results in belt conveyor transfer chute jamming during coal trans portation from the hammer crushers to the ovens. 4.3. Handling Factors

500 0 2 6 10 4 8 Moisture content of coal, % 12

Fig. 3. Influence of moisture content and particle size on bulk density. (1) Crushed raw coal, 035 mm; (2) coking coal, 020 mm; (3) coal fines, 010 mm; (4) coal fines, 03 mm.

Increase of moisture in charge coal increases heat loss due to evaporation and superheating of vapor. Moisture helps in binding fines by surface tension, thus reducing choking of hatches, through which the coal is charged into the ovens from the top. Moisture helps in dust suppression during charging and hence reduces jamming of gas carrying equipment like ascension pipes and hydraulic main. Vapor generated inside oven chamber also aids in convection and radi

820

Dry Wet

Box bulk density,, kg/m3

770

720

670

620 2 4 6 8 10 Moisture, % 12 14 16

Fig. 4. Effect of moisture content on the bulk density of selected Coal. COKE AND CHEMISTRY Vol. 56 No. 4 2013

132 1250 d = 0.90 1000

DAS et al.

d = 0.85 Coking pressure, mbar 750

500

d = 0.80

250

d = 0.75 d = 0.70

0 65

70 80 90 75 85 95 Passing through 2 mm screen, %

Fig. 5. Coking pressure as a function of bulk density and size consist.

ation heat transfer. Excess moisture, however, causes thermal shock to the refractory brickwork. The dustiness and flow ability of a coal is primarily affected by the surface moisture of a coal. During dry season, one of the most effective and cost efficient means of controlling dust is to use sprinklers to add surface moisture to the outside of the pile. This addi tional moisture is applied only to the surface of the pile, and only when necessary. The total moisture of the coal is not significantly changed. During rainy season, fine coals pick up moisture and become sticky causing handling problems during unloading at the wagon tipplers. These types of coals form hard cakes which stick to the sides of the railway box wagons and have to be poked and hammered out from them. They also jam the hopper grills and trans fer chutes of the belt conveyors leading to increase in manual labor. 4.4. Roof Carbon Deposition Moisture also affects carbon deposition in the ovens. The steam formed from the working moisture in coal creates an oxidizing medium with the highest reactivity on contact with the incandescent surface of carbon deposits on the walls. Hence carbon deposition on the oven roofs is much more than on the walls. However, roof carbon problems are much more in coke oven batteries [8] without flared tops i.e. closed ascension pipe caps during charging, as compared to

those with flared ones. It is noteworthy that coke oven batteries charging coals with high moisture content are not troubled with roof carbon deposits. The reasons why the carbon deposits increase when the moisture content in the coal charged is low would be that [9]: Increase in carbonization gases as the amount of coal charge becomes larger, Lowering of the dilution effect of carbonization gases by water molecules, and Rise in temperature at free space because the temperature of coal charged with less moisture becomes higher than that of wet coal charge. On the other hand, Krebs et al. [10] suggested that coal fines have a relation with the carbon deposition in the coke oven chamber. The carryover fines (materials of <100 m in particle size derived from coal) are thought to increase on account of lowering the mois ture content. The carbon deposition mechanism in the free space of coke oven chambers [9] has been studied under CMC operation by the actual oven measurements. Average coal moisture contents were 6.3 mass percent in CMC operation and 9.1 mass percent in Wet Coal. It was found that the amount of carbon deposits in CMC operation increases by as much as 4575 mass percent compared with those in wet coal operation. The majority of the deposits at the initial stage of the car bonization were derived from the carryover fines. It was also found that the carbon deposits on the base portion of an ascension pipe in CMC operation con tained approximately 20 mass percent of materials derived from carryover fines. The influence of volatile matter on the carbon deposits in CMC operation was greater than that in wet coal operation. 4.5. Coking Pressure For ensuring the quality of coke produced, the cok ing coal must have a certain swelling and shrinkage behavior. As discussed earlier, the bulk density of coal charge depends on moisture content and particle size. The maximum coking pressure can be decreased [5] considerably by decreasing the bulk density and by fine grinding of coal (Fig. 5). During coal carbonization in a coke oven chamber [11], the swelling of molten coal causes a load called coking pressure on oven walls. Since excessive coking pressure increases the force needed for coke cake pushing and in some cases leads to operational prob lems such as hard pushes or stickers causing wall damage, one of the most important aspects of the coke making process is to control and reduce the coking pressure. With this in mind, Nippon Steel has devel oped dry coal charging processes for coke making, such as CMC and DAPS. With the coal moisture being reduced to 56 mass percent using CMC and 2 4 mass percent using DAPS, the advantages of less
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heat consumption for carbonization, higher produc tivity, and better coke quality were gained. Since a decrease in coal moisture leads to an increase in coal bulk density in the coke oven chamber, which increases coking pressure to a great extent, it is quite important to precisely control the coal moisture dur ing the dry coal charging processes so as to avoid wall damage. 4.6. Coke Oven Gas Formation A mechanism of the gaseous reaction taking place inside coke oven proposed by Zubilin IG et al. [12] states that during the initial 23 hrs of the coking period, the carbon layer on the high temperature sur face of the brickwork and in its porous structure inside a coke oven on contact with the steam oxidant creates a thermodynamically caused reaction zone of steam gasification of carbon deposits according to the fol lowing reaction: C + H2Ovap CO + H2 (t 9001100C).

The mechanism was fully explained as the escaping dry coke oven gas is pyrolyzed with deposition of car bon in the porous bulk of heating chamber walls and the hydrogen evolved is completely burned in the heat ing system to form steam (H2O). Afterwards, the oxi dative steam gasification of the carbon deposit in the porous volume of the walls leads to formation of Hydrogen and additional Carbon monoxide with their subsequent combustion in the firing system to form Water vapor and Carbon di oxide. This result in increase of the volumes of coke oven gas (particularly CO and H2) produced with increasing moisture of the coal blend coked. The monograph of Kustov characterizes the rela tionship between the increase of the yield of coke oven gas and the increase of the moisture of the coal blend being carbonized. On coking moist coal blends (up to Working Moisture = 11%) under industrial conditions the increase of the yield of coke oven gas, due to the gasification of carbon by the convertible working moisture of the coal blend to Carbon mono oxide and Hydrogen is 28 m3/metric ton of moist coal blend (i.e., 2.52.8 m3 per 1% of working moisture). In the working moisture range of 911%, the increase of the yield of coke oven gas per 1% of working moisture is 5.2 m3. On increasing working moisture of the coal blend (>11%), the growth of the yield of additional volumes of coke oven gas stops. The author opined that this could be due to the attainment of the critical mass of coal blend moisture which, with respect to energy consumption for gasification, is comparable with the amount of heat accumulated by the brickwork of the heating wall, which is required for its vaporiza tion, overheating and providing the endothermic effect of its conversion reaction, and with the decrease of the wall surface temperature (<700C).
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4.7. Internal Gas/Wall Pressure Characteristics A study was carried out by Lee WJ and Lee YK [13] to assess the influence of coal blend moisture on inter nal gas pressure. In the study, carbonization tests for various kinds of single coals and coal blends were car ried out with varying operating conditions in a mov able wall test coke oven to investigate the coking pres sure behavior. Internal gas pressure and corresponding temperature at coal charge center were measured. Effects of blending ratio of coal, coal moisture con tent, and heating wall temperature on internal gas pressure were also assessed. It was observed that the internal gas pressure of single coals increased with an increase of coking capacity and a decrease of volatile matter. It was also found that the internal gas pressure characteristics for coal blends mainly depend on the blending ratio of a given coal and exponentially increase with decrease in moisture content. Further, it tends to decrease with an increase in heating wall tem perature. In one of the study carried out to find out the rela tionship between coking pressure and coal moisture, the results showed that when the American Beckley coal was charged wet, the heating wall gives way maxi mally 14 mm to the coking pressure [14]. When pre heated coal is charged, the deformation increases to 55 mm. In another study, evaluated on six meter coke oven battery [15], it seemed that the optimum (low coking pressure) occurs in the 46% moisture range. Above and below this range coking pressure increases. 4.8. Calorific Value of Coke Oven Gas It was observed that during rainy season when moisture content in coal blend of SAIL Bokaro Steel Plant increases to more than 8.50%, the calorific value (CV) of coke oven gas improves. A plot of calorific value with moisture in coal blend (Fig. 6) shows a strong correlation. CV = 184.4 Moisture + 2456.6, R2 = 0.8328. On careful examination of data, it was found that content of methane (CH4) in coke oven gas had increased leading to an increase in the calorific value of Coke Oven gas. This may be due to the fact that escaping vapor forms a protective film over the meth ane molecule present in coke oven gas thereby pre venting its conversion into Carbon mono oxide, Car bon di oxide and hydrogen. 4.9. Heat Consumption With coal moisture control equipment at Chiba Works [16], it was observed that the reduction of charging coal moisture down to a level of 6.0% leads to a reduction in heat consumption to approximately 74 Mega calories/ ton of coal. With the coal quality having 97% Ro, r (Random Reflectance) and 70% Maximum fluidity of the base/ original blend, the

134 4080 CV of CO gas, kcal/m3 4060 4040 4020 4000 3980 8.3

DAS et al.

CV = 184.8 moisture + 2456.6 R2 = 0.8328

8.4 8.6 8.5 Moisture in coal blend, %

8.7

Fig. 6. Variation in calorific value of coke oven gas with moisture.

same level of coke strength was achieved employing CMC techniques. In another study, waste heat was recovered and utilized to reduce the moisture content of coal to 4% and saving of 80 Mega calories heat/ton of coal was reported [17]. For SAIL Bokaro coke ovens, driving out 1% moisture from coal requires 125 Mega calories of heat/ ovens. This needs a supply of 31 m3 of Coke Oven Gas. On monetizing, this is equivalent to INR 9.5 million/ annum towards energy cost. With lesser moisture, the emission of NOx in atmosphere will also be low owing to the less requirement of heating gas. 4.10. Coke Size The study of British Coke Research Association (BCRA) showed [18] that the size of coke produced from a high volatile (VMdaf 28 to 37%) coal was unaffected by moisture content in the range of 2 14%. The result was corroborated in a commercial coke oven carbonization with blend moisture content of 311.5%. However, when one blend dried from 12.5 to 5% moisture, decrease in mean size from 64 to 57 mm was observed. The general conclusion from BCRAs large scale trials was that preheating of the charge had no effect on coke size for a representative range of British coals. A test oven study in West Germany with coals of 20 and 30% Volatile Matter content, found that the pro portions of >100 and >80 mm coke decreased when the charge was dried or preheated. With the higher vol atile matter coal, the >100 mm content was 45% for a wet charge but 25% after preheating. Preheating was found to increases coke mean size by 36 mm for coal blends from the USA, but it did not affect the mean size for a Polish good coking blend. In commercial practice at Orgreave coking plant, preheating was reported to have practically no effect on the mean size or the >75, >50 and >25 mm contents of the coke.

BergbauForschungs development of the pre carbon preheating process, reported in several papers, generally showed an increase in the propor tion of 4080 mm coke, compared with wet charges. Similar results have been announced from the use of the pre carbon process in the USA and by INCAR in Spain [15]. Thus, a decrease in the moisture content increases the coke mean size in certain cases. 4.11. Coke Strength The pre requisite of a strong coke is a thick plastic layer of 20 mm or more during coal to coke transfor mation in the slot type ovens [19]. Further, in good coking coal blends the plastic range of each coking coal component overlap to form an extended plastic range with a re solidification temperature in excess of 475C. These coals should also have high thermal dif fusivity to form better coke since the strength of coke is increased to the most significant levels during the final conversion of semi coke to coke at temperatures of 1000C. The plastic layer progresses from the sides nearest the oven wall to the middle driving out the moisture in the coal before it, which condenses in the middle at a temperature of 100C. Studies have shown that the increase in moisture content of coal beyond 8% decreases the plastic layer thickness and consequently hampers strong coke formation. Increase in the mois ture content of coal decreases the heating rate in the range of 300 to 500C, resulting in thinner plastic layer thickness and lesser swelling. Additionally, the tem perature gradient in the vicinity of the re solidification temperature becomes steeper resulting in increased fissuring of the coke formed [20].
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4.12. Coke Shrinkage/Swelling For dry to low moisture content coal blend, the bulk density of coal remains very high. Due to higher bulk density, the swelling of coke mass increases [2]. This reduces the shrinkage of coke and leads to more pressure in the coke oven battery wall and difficulty in oven pushings. 4.13. Manufacturing Cost of Coke In order to reduce the manufacturing cost of coke, it is necessary to reduce mainly [4] Material cost and Operating cost. Both of these costs can be reduced by lowering the moisture of charging coal. Because dust generation increases with decreasing moisture of charging coal, however, the lower limit of charging coal moisture was about 5%, which yielded good results in CMC. DAPS was successfully developed and incorporated by Nip pon Steel for lowering the moisture of charging coal as least as possible (around 2%). In this system, fines were separated from dried charging coal and agglom erated in a separate unit. It was found that the productivity of DAPS is 21% higher than that of the ordinary charging method, the coke quality of DAPS was +5.6 points better in terms of CSR, and a 15% energy saving was achieved. Fur thermore, because of the improvement in coke quality, larger amounts of low cost coals (Semi coking or Non coking coal) can be used. Hence, the total man ufacturing cost can be reduced to the tune of 811%. 5. CONCLUSIONS The one element that influences the handling of coal and impacts the operation and efficiency of the plant is moisture. Compared to other important prop erties of coal blend, moisture can easily be manipu lated. The optimum level of moisture content of charge coal improves the coke oven productivity, coke quality and operation smoothness. The coal moisture can be reduced to 56 mass percent using CMC and 24 mass percent using DAPS. Moisture content affects the bulk density of coal blend and hence coke qualities and yield. Increase in moisture reduces coal grind ability, coking pressure and internal gas pressure. Increase in coal blend moisture helps in dust suppression during charging and hence reduces jam ming of gas carrying equipment like ascension pipes and hydraulic main. Batteries charging coals with high moisture con tent are not troubled with roof carbon deposits. It was observed that during rainy season when moisture content in coal blend of SAILBokaro
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increases to more than 8.50%, the calorific value of coke oven gas improved. In the working moisture range of 911%, the increase of the yield of coke oven gas per 1% of work ing moisture is 5.2 m3. Studies have shown that the increase in moisture content of coal beyond 8% decreases the plastic layer thickness and consequently hampers strong coke for mation. Pre carbonization preheating process, reported in several papers, generally showed an increase in the proportion of 4080 mm size coke, compared with wet charges. For SAIL Bokaro coke ovens, driving out 1% moisture from coal requires 125 Mega calories heat/ oven. This is equivalent to INR 9.5 million/ annum towards energy cost. With lesser moisture, the emission of NOx will also be low. On using dry to low moisture coal blend, the swelling of coke mass increases; reducing the shrink age of coke and leading to difficulty in oven pushings. Using DAPS, total manufacturing cost can be reduced to the tune of 811%. The coke oven managers all around the globe try to maintain this optimum level according to their requirement, the operating conditions, and the quality of product and by products, the oven health & age and the ease of handling. It is important, therefore, to select the moisture content at such a level that provides the greatest economic benefit evaluated by consider ing the air pollution, recovered energy, and other expected effects. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS Authors are grateful to management of SAIL RDCIS and SAIL BSL specially Sri B.P. Roy, GM RDCIS Bokaro Centre; Sri M.P. Reddy, GM (Coal & Energy)RDCIS Ranchi; Sri S. Pal, GM (Quality), Bokaro Steel Plant and Sri B.P. Verma, GM & In charge (Coke Oven & By Product), Bokaro Steel Plant for providing necessary trigger and impetus in writing the paper. Authors are also thankful to Late Sri Pras hant Gupta, Ex Manger, RDCIS Bokaro Centre for providing some useful articles related to the topic. REFERENCES
1. Speight, J.G., Handbook of Coal Analysis, New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2005. 2. Wakuri, S., Ohno, M., and Hosokawa, K., New control system of coal moisture at coke oven, in 45th Ironmak ing Conference, 69 April 1986, Washington DC. 3. Wakuri, S., Ohno, M., Hosokawa, K., Nakagawa, K., Takanohashi, Y., Ohnishi, T., et al., New moisture con trol system of coal for coking, Trans ISIJ, 1985, vol. 25, pp. 11111115.

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DAS et al. decarburization of chamber walls of coke oven batter ies, Coke Chem., 2001, vol. 10, pp. 710. Lee, W.J. and Lee, Y.K., Effect of coal blend and oper ating variables on internal gas pressure during coking in a coke oven, RIST J of R&D (South Korea), 2000, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 107113. Rohde, W., Habermehl, D., and Kolitz, V., Coking pressure and coal moistureeffects during carboniza tionimplications for a new coking reactor design, in 47th Ironmaking Conference, 1720 April 1988, Tor onto. Latshaw, G.M., McCollum, H.R., and Stanley, R.W., Wall pressure determination by measurement and interpretation of internal gas pressures in a six meter coke battery, in 43rd Ironmaking Conference, 14 April 1984, Chicago. Katayama, T., Kobayashi, T., Tanaka, T., Takahashi, H., and Obata, H., Operation of coal moisture control equipment of coke oven batteries at Chiba Works, in 48th Ironmaking Conference, 25 April 1989, Chicago. Recent heat recovery techniques in Ichi Kan Iron Incorporation, World Steel (JPN.), 1986, no. 6, pp. 29. Edwards, D.G., and Barber, K.G., Coke lump size: Some of the influencing factors (a Literature Review), Cokemak Int, 1/2000, pp. 8792. Callcott, T.G., Principles for blending coals, BHP Technical Bulletin November, 1979, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 4953. Chatterjee, A. and Rao, P.V.T., Monograph on coal and coke at Tata Steel, Illustrated Edition, Jamshedpur, India: Tata Steel, 1992.

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