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Companhia
Vale do Rio Doce
COKEMAKING PROCESS
Uses of Coal in Cokemaking Process
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Companhia
Vale do Rio Doce
PART X
IRONMAKING COURSE
March 12th, Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Uses of Coal
Uses of Coal and the Future of Coke
Heating Value
LOW RANK COAL
48%
HARD COAL
52%
LIGNITE
20%
SUB-BITUMINOUS
28%
HIGH
BITUMINOUS
51%
ANTHRACITE
1%
STEAM
THERMAL COAL
METALLURGICAL
COKING COAL
Electricity generation
Cement making
Industrial uses
Mainly for electricity
generation
Pig iron and
steel making
Industrial use and
as smokeless fuel
HIGH
Moisture
USES OF COAL
(WORLD COAL
INSTITUTE)
Uses of Coal and the Future of Coke
The main function of the coke in the blast furnace is as process
permeabilizer. Without that function it would not be possible the iron-making in
the blast furnace. Worldwide the production of hot metal and crude steel via
the blast furnace/converter route is regarded as the dominant process line also
in the next two or three decades (there's no metal-production system that can
beat the blast furnace). In other words, the coke still has an on-life at least
equal.
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (I)
The principle of iron-making in a blast furnace is that iron ore is reduced by carbon
from coke to form metallic iron and carbon dioxide. The production of hot metal in an
integrated steel plant involves three basic units: coke oven, sintering and blast
furnace.
Coke Oven Gas and By-Products
Blast Furnace Top Gas
Fine Iron Ore
Coking Coal
Anthracite
Sinter
Pulverised Coal
Blast Furnace
Breeze
Fluxes
Hot Metal
Slag
Coke Oven
Sintering
Coke and Small Coke
Lump Iron Ore
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (II)
By-Product Cokemaking. The process is developed in a wet-charge, by-product coke
oven and is comprised of the following steps: i) the coals are reclaimed from
stockyards, crushed in hammer or impact mills to about 85% under 7 mesh and
mechanically blended according to a formula of a multi-component coal blend, iii) the
coal blend is charged into a number of slot ovens wherein each oven shares a common
heating flue with the adjacent oven and iv) coal is coked at a temperature of about
1250C for about 18 hours in the absence of air and the off-gas is collected via the
ascension pipes and crossover mains to the by-products area, where it is cooled,
scrubbed, and many valuable by-products are extracted.
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (II)
Coal-to-Coke Transformation Steps: i) the heat is transferred from the
heating walls (indirect heat is applied by means of gas firing) into the coal
charge, ii) from about 350C to 475C, the coal decomposes to form plastic
layers near each wall (during the plastic stage, the plastic layers move towards
the centre of the oven trapping the evolved gas and creating a gas pressure
build up which is transferred to the heating wall and is traditionally known as
coking pressure), iii) at about 475C to 600C, there is a marked evolution of
tar, and aromatic hydrocarbon compounds, followed by solidification of the
plastic mass into semi-coke, iv) at 600C to 1100C there is a contraction of
coke mass, structural development of coke and final hydrogen evolution. The
incandescent coke mass is pushed from the oven and is wet or dry quenched
and then transported to the blast furnace.
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (II)
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (III)
Non-Recovery Coke-Making. Coal is carbonised in large oven chambers and the
coking process takes place from the top by radiant heat transfer and from the bottom
by heat conduction through the sole floor. Primary air for combustion is introduced
into the chamber through ports located above the charge level in both pusher and
coke side oven doors. The volatile compounds that are produced during the
carbonisation of coal are oxidised in the oven chamber and partially combusted
gases exit the top chamber through "down comer" passages in the oven wall and
enter the sole flue, thereby heating the sole of the oven. Combusted gases are
collected in a common tunnel and exit via a stack which creates a natural draft in the
oven. Since the by-products are not recovered, the process is called non-recovery
coke-making (if the waste gas exits into a waste heat recovery boiler which converts
the excess heat into steam for power generation it is named non-recovery-heat
recovery). In-oven combustion of hydrocarbons appears to virtually eliminate
hydrocarbon emissions and also the negative-pressure ovens should not leak
appreciable amounts of emissions.
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (III)
Sintering is a process in which iron ore fines (in a mixture with several recycled
materials, fluxes and solid fuel) is agglomerated forming a porous mass (sinter) that
it is fed in the blast furnace as component of the mineral burden. In the process the
mixture is ignited by a gas burner and then moved along a travelling grate machine
until partial melting and agglomeration of iron ore particles occur. The burning of
coke breeze resulting from the process of blast furnace coke calibration and sized in
rod mill to below 4.76 mm (in mixture with other solid fuels as anthracite, wood
charcoal or green pet coke) provides the heat for the process.
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (IV)
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (IV)
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (IV)
The purpose of a blast furnace is to chemically reduce and physically convert iron
oxides into liquid iron called hot metal or pig iron. Blast furnace is a chemical
reactor which requires certain physical conditions such as permeability to fluid flows
in order to produce hot metal efficiently. From the tuyere level and above, it is a
counter-current reactor. The descending solids are processed by the ascending gas
which carries heat and reducing agents, H
2
e CO. Coke is used as reducing agent,
fuel and permeability provider.
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (V)
The main blast furnace product is iron in melted state that it is called hot metal
or pig iron. Hot metal is sent for the steel plant of an integrated steelmaker and
fed in converters. Pig iron is iron liquid solidified in metallic ingot molds (pig
iron is called like this since when the liquid iron was drained through a channel
in the soil to flow in molds and whose arrangements resembled with avid newly
born pigs to suck).
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (VI)
Iron bearing materials (iron ore, sinter, pellets), coke and fluxes are charged into the
top of the furnace. A blast of pre-heated air enriched with oxygen and also, in most
cases, a gaseous, liquid or powdered fuel (for instance, pulverised coal) are
introduced through openings (tuyeres) at the bottom of the furnace just above the
hearth crucible. Coke and mineral burden are charged in separate and alternate
layers and nowadays all steelmakers are mixing small coke or nut coke with the
mineral burden (iron bearing materials + fluxes). The heated air burns the injected fuel
and most of the coke charged in front of tuyeres to produce the heat required by the
process and to provide reducing gas that removes oxygen from the ore. The reduced
iron melts and runs down to the bottom of the hearth. The flux combines with the
impurities in the ore to produce a slag which also melts and accumulates on top of the
liquid iron in the hearth. The melted iron and slag are both tapped periodically of the
furnace. The total furnace residence time is about 6 to 8 hours.
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (VI)
Carbon Blast Furnace Reactions
Carbon oxidised by hot air:
Carbon(s) + oxygen(g) carbon dioxide(g)
C(s) + O2(g) CO2(g)
Carbon oxidised by carbon dioxide:
Carbon(s) + carbon dioxide(g) carbon monoxide(g)
C(s) + CO2(g) 2CO(g)
Carbon monoxide reduces iron (III) oxide
Carbon monoxide(g) + iron (III) oxide(s) iron(l) +
carbon dioxide(g)
3CO(g) + Fe2O3(s) 2Fe(l) + 3CO2(g)
After extinction coke is transported to the blast furnace in a handling system
constituted by belts conveyors, transfer chutes, screens and bunkers (the
handling system in the figure proceed is from Brazilian Usiminas steelmaker). In
this system coke suffers mechanical stabilisation due to the drops that is
submitted (few companies have coke cutters for size reduction, even if its
stabilisation in the handling system is not enough). Coke is classified in two or
three products that are used in the blast furnace and sintering. As an example i)
coke breeze under 10 mm is used after rod mill size preparation in sintering, ii)
small coke (10 - 25 mm) or nut coke (25 - 40 mm) is used as component of
metallic burden in the blast furnace and iii) lump coke (25 - 75 mm or 40 - 80 mm)
in the blast furnace coke bed (coke layers) as main responsible for the furnace
permeability.
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (VII)
Coke in the Production of Hot Metal (VII)
AF3
AF2
AF1
B
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2
R
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B
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1

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B
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4
R
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B
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R
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K

2
0
3
-
1
K

2
0
7
K

2
0
8
K

2
1
0
K

2
1
1
K 211r
K

1
0
3
-
1
K

1
0
3
-
2
K

1
0
5
K 106r
K 104-r
C 2
C 4
E 4
E 2
C

1
E

1
C

3
E

3
K 202r K 102r
Coke
Bunker
S
1
C2
C1
C3
Finos para
Sinterizao
CT C-4
CT C-3
CT C-5
Finos para
Sinterizao
Skip
CT C-4
CT C-3
CT C-5
Skip
Finos para
Sinterizao
Peneiras
K

2
0
3
-
2
K 204-r
K 105-A
Hot metal production in the blast furnace is linked with coke and its availability.
A blast furnace cannot be operated without coke for physical reasons and the
coke is generally the most expensive blast furnace burden material. The blast
furnace operator will therefore always try to reduce coke consumption to the
lowest level technically possible by injecting coal or other reducing agent. But for
this they need to place more rigid quality requirements on coke.
Coke Role in the Blast Furnace (I)
Coke Role in the Blast Furnace (I)
The quality of the coke can be defined as being its capacity to fill out the
requirements demanded in the blast furnace and for an appropriate definition it
is necessary to know i) the coke roles in the blast furnace and ii) the factors
that act on the coke inside the blast furnace. The coke, besides having low
contents of contaminants of the hot metal (S and P) and/or of operation
disturbing elements (Na, K and Zn), should be capable to performthree main
roles in the blast furnace: a thermal, a chemical and a physical role.
Role 1: Thermal
Provision of fuel for combustion in the raceway region.
Role 2: Chemical
Reacting with CO2 it provides the reducing gases for the reduction of iron.
Role 3: Physical (coke is the great provider)
Provides a permeable bed at the top of the furnace for gas to pass through.
Parts the heavier, denser and less permeable layers of mixed pellets, lump
ores, sinter and fluxes (nowadays the small coke or nut coke is part of those
layers).
Provides a permeable matrix (windows) in the lower part of the furnace
through which liquids can drip and hot gas pass.
Support the weight of stock.
Provides a permeable bed for iron and slags to flow to the tap holes of the
blast furnace.
Coke Role in the Blast Furnace (II)
Coke Role in the Blast Furnace (II)
Coke can be replaced to a large degree in the first two roles by, for instance,
by pulverised coal.
The physical role is dependent on the size, size distribution, shape and
superficial irregularity of the coke.
The maintenance of a good permeability in the several zones of the blast
furnace is dependent of the strength, coke strength after reaction, amount of
recycled alkalis inside the blast furnace etc.