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OPTIMIZATION OF THE DESIGN AND OPERATING PARAMETERS OF SHAFT FURNACES*


Yakov Gordon1) Vladimir Shvidkiy 2) Yuriy Yaroshenko 2) Hatch Mississauga, Ontario, Canada Ural State Technical University, 19 Mira Street, Ekaterinburg, Russia, 620002 SUMMARY A mathematical model of interdependent phenomena of heat and mass transfer, material and gas flow was developed to optimize design and operating parameters of shaft furnaces. In addition, experimental methods to determine flow parameters in local regions of furnace volume have been also proposed. Calculations and experimental investigations indicate a strong correlation between predicted results and conditions, prevalent in industry. Based on this, adaptation procedure for the mathematical model and principles for its simplification for different shaft furnaces have been proposed. Using the simplified model technique, optimal design, operating parameters and methods of heat cycle control have been developed for various shaft furnace processes. This translated into reduction of 7-15% of fuel consumption, a throughput increase of 13-20% and improvement in the final product quality of 6-8% when implemented in direct reduction shaft furnaces, blast furnaces, shaft furnaces for limestone calcination and cupolas. 1. INTRODUCTION Increase of furnace capacity and productivity, improvement in the final product quality, decrease of fuel rate and emissions into the atmosphere depend on design and operating parameters of the shaft furnaces. To optimize these parameters methods must be sought to predict how physical-chemical and heat exchange processes behave within shaft furnace. In the analysis of the operation of simple units, mathematical models based on separate description of various phenomena and processes have proven to be satisfactory. However, for a number of applications, simultaneous consideration has to be given to heat and mass transfer, material and gas flow. The formulation of models to include these interrelated phenomena, is generally easier to
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contemplate than to realize [1,2]. Therefore, when calculations are based on such models, some essential assumptions must first be made to obtain a simple solution of the problem. The optimum design and operating parameters can be determined in a course of experimental investigation as well as mathematical modeling. The adequate mathematical models also can be used as a basis for control methods. 2. MATHEMATICAL MODEL The system of equations describing material and gas flow in shaft furnaces in terms of reciprocal heat and mass exchange includes the following equations: equations of continuity for gas and material; equations of motion for gas and material; equations of heat transfer for gas and material; equation of mass exchange; equation of melting and equations of state [2]. Usually in the gas dynamics models of porous media the conservation equations are replaced by the continuity equations. In this case, however, instead of zero in the right part of the equation, gas and material sources of mass appear. Despite the mass exchange between gas and material it is almost always possible to derive value V * related to the real gas or some

g g value V * remains constant during the duration of g

of gas components volume by the relationship V * = a V without changing of its meaning. This

the process. In the most complex mass exchange case between material and gas in the blast furnaces and direct reduction shaft furnaces, the volume of inert gas nitrogen ( V value and the

N 2 ) is taken as a constant g

a = N 2 273 P / ( P o T ) . g g g g Since value V * has no sources and discharges g


the right part of conservation equation is equal to zero. In this case a considerable effect may be obtained for steady state problem and stream function can be used for velocity calculation [2,3]. If the gas flow in the layer of material is assumed to be vortex-less [3,4] the stream function field is defined by solving the Laplas type equation. The effectiveness of the stream function to find the gas velocities is known to be connected not only with the simple form of Laplas equation, but also with the simplicity of defining boundary conditions for . In the case of gas vents or other devices located inside the furnace, conventional break of the gas flow area from the outer boundary to the devices inside

METEC Congress, 2003, 3rd International Conference on Science and Technology of Ironmaking, Dusseldorf, June 16-20, 2003, p.p. 311-316

2/6 the unit should be used to close the boundary line. The conventional break is infinitesimal thickness and can be made along any line, e.g. a horizontal one (Fig. 1). Each real point, falling on this line is divided into a pair of points (0-0, 1-1, 2-2 etc.), which belong to the lower and upper areas, respectively. The conventional brake does not disrupt the continuity of the gas velocity and pressure fields as well as other physical quantities. It affects only the stream function field. gas evacuation vents. The control of gas flow between different technological zones is required especially in the case of their autonomous (from the gas dynamics point of view) operation. The special dividing zones can be employed to control the required gas flow. The vertical profile of such shaft furnace can be determined by certain numbers of straight intercepts. Vertical coordinates z of these intercepts are variable excluding the furnace bottom and stockline. Also the radius r is assigned for all the elements of the furnace profile.

Fig. 1: Calculation of the stream-function field, when the boundaries are broken. Since the field velocity continuity is not disrupted the values of gas velocity components perpendicular to the boundary from opposite sides of the break ( v and v ' ) at any point are equal in absolute

Fig. 2: General design and conform transformation of the shaft furnace profile. Introduction of new coordinates

magnitude but are opposite in sign (Fig. 1) and the difference of stream functions along the break is constant:

o o ' = N N ' = = const .


Value may be determined by integration along the boundary of the device located in the working space from point 2 to point 2. Thus value in N point can be found from the stream function value obtained earlier in any N ' point lying on the conventional break and vice versa. When the conventional break is intersected a sudden discontinuity of stream function takes place. The shaft furnace general design is presented in Fig. 2. The furnace contains three major zones: preheating, reduction (or metallization) and cooling. In the case of blast furnace, stack incorporates preheating and reduction zones and the hearth substitutes the cooling zone. The technological gases enter the furnace through tuyeres or other gas distribution devices. These gases can be evacuated from the furnaces partially or completely through the

y = z and x = (r r t ) /(rc r t ),
allows the performance of the conform transformation of the furnaces actual complicated profile to a simple cylinder [Fig. 2 (b)]. Numerical solutions of the complete mathematical model are extremely laborious. It requires a large online memory, is time-consuming and fails to provide high accuracy. All this raises a problem of developing certain concept to be used in simplifying the mathematical model. 3. THE CONCEPT OF SIMPLIFYING THE MATHEMATICAL MODEL The first problem facing the researcher in mathematical modeling of bed gas mechanics is the dimensional representation of the task. The number of the tuyeres varied from eight to 44, which is characteristic of the present blast furnaces, cupolas, etc. The calculations have shown that when the

3/6 distance between the tuyeres in cylindrical and rectangular shaft furnaces are 0.6 m and 0.52 m respectively, the upper boundary of threedimensional motion practically coincides with the tuyere level [2,4]. Hence, one can conclude that twodimensional mathematical models may be used. The second question to be addressed is whether the hypothesis on the potentiality of gas flow in shaft furnaces is admissible. Calculations shown that with Re=1000 the error of potential approximation in finding of the local value of the gas velocity vertical component in the tuyeres region varies from 5 to 25 %. On the two- dimensional zone boundary, the error in determining the vertical component of the velocity does not exceed 5 percent or 0.05 m/s. From the viewpoint of gas flow division and velocity field rearrangement, the maximum error is not more than 10 per cent. As for the average final temperature and chemical composition of the material with the application of the potential model, they will be correct since the local errors have different signs and practically equalize each other [2,5]. By solving the non-isothermal problem of shaft furnace gas mechanics, it has been found that the nature of the gas temperature field mainly depends on gas distribution. Non-isothermal gas movement results in the increase of the zone of non-uniform gas distribution. The effect of non-isothermal motion reveals itself in the high temperature region (more than 600C) [1,2,6]. The analysis of the calculations of heat and mass transfer in a cross-counter-current shaft furnace for iron ore pellets metallization show that profiles of the isotherms and the iso-reduction lines are similar mainly in the high temperature zone as for the calculations based on the apparent heat capacity as well as for the case of the complete mathematical model. Using the apparent heat capacity of the material makes it possible to form a sufficiently accurate estimate of the final process parameters and may be successfully applied in the optimization problems of shaft furnace design [2]. As a result of the combined solution of the equations of motion, heat transfer, continuity and the ablation problem of the charge material lump, it has been established that melting front configuration wholly depends on the character of gas flow motion. It has been also shown that it is feasible to define the shaft furnace design in the case of phase transformation of charge materials using apparent heat capacity. Based on the regularities of attenuating radioisotope emission in narrow beam geometry, a procedure for determining local porosity of the bed in circular shaft furnaces has been developed. In order to do this, the cross-section of the shaft is divided into a number of circles; the absorption intensity is measured by parallel chords tangential to the circles and the local value of porosity found by the following formula:

n 1 ln(K n ) 2 k ich d i i =1 , n = 1 m dn
where: K n - coefficient of attenuating radioisotope emission along the chord n; - mass coefficient of attenuating of
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radiation, m /kg;

- material balk
m th

density, kg/m ; k=0 with n=1, k=1 with n1, and d th th and di are portions of the n chord in the n and i circles respectively.

Experimental investigations of porosity during tapping have shown that in the main technological zones, i.e. calcination, induration or reduction etc., located at distances from the tapping hole exceeding 2 furnace radiuses, the charge movement does not affect the porosity fields. Their nature greatly depends on the effect of gas flow on lump material bed [2]. Using the empirical ratio = f () [2] it is possible to determine local values of at different velocities of gas flow. According to the results obtained, it may be concluded that from the point of view of determining optimum geometric furnace parameters, the error does not exceed 7%. The results of calculations and experimental investigations show that optimization of shaft furnace gas dynamics is feasible using isothermal twodimensional models of vortex-less gas motion in an undeformable bed. The error in determining per unit velocity does not exceed 10-12% [2]. 4. THE RESULTS OF INVESTIGATION AND THEIR APPLICATION By the conducted investigation, it has been established that uniformity of radial gas distribution mainly depends upon the tuyeres protrusion, their diameter, slope and the distance from the furnace bottom (melting surface). The formation of velocity and pressure fields is mostly affected by the tuyeres protrusion. Its optimum value is not stable and greatly depends on its diameter. With tuyeres diameters and wind rate characteristic of the shaft furnace the optimum value of their protrusion is 0.3-0.36 radius of the unit. In the case of blast furnace the optimum protrusion reflects the position of the center of the raceway. With such a protrusion the minimum nonuniformity of gas distribution will occur if the tuyere is sufficiently distant from the furnace bottom and its slope is between 17 and 25 degrees. Peripheral wind input has been found to be highly effective when it is combined with a knuckle of the shaft which optimum radius is 0.8 that of the unit. Using bed looseners (splitters) as an element of the gas distribution device allows the unit capacity of the furnace to be greatly raised.

4/6 The investigations have proven that there is a considerable deforming effect of the shaft slope. Fig. 3 shows the gas-dynamic movement grid. It can be concluded that at the end of the bosh and the beginning of the belly, there must be equalization of gas stream velocities over the furnace cross-section. As the gas rises and enters the stack, deformation of the velocities field takes place due to the effect of the stack slope. At the same time, the gas velocity must increase somewhat at the furnace wall and decrease at the axis. This deformation is greater with increase of the stack slope deviation from the right angle. The same conclusion can be drawn from the Fig. 4, which shows the distribution of the modules of the gas velocity. It is evident that the magnitude of this parameter in the furnace stack rises somewhat at the wall and falls at the axis. In the bosh an almost uniform distribution of gas velocities over the furnace cross-section is observed. It can be concluded that stack slope has a considerable influence on non-uniformity of gas distribution. Two values of zone of two dimensional gas movements are observed in the range of stack 0 0 slope from 78 to 90 with the tuyere protrusion of about 0.2 radius of hearth. The first zone is established in between tuyeres level and belly. Deformation of the gas flow occurring with transition into the stack leads to the formation of the second zone of two-dimensional flow and this zone is growth with decrease of the stack slope. An interesting fact is that with tuyere protrusion values differing from the optimum, there is only one value of the height of the zone of two-dimensional gas flow. With tuyere protrusion values close to optimum, the extent of the height of the zone of twodimensional movement is less then with other tuyere protrusions. Therefore, the gas flow has time to be equalized before the deforming effect of the stack walls begins. If, however, the tuyere protrusion is not equal to optimum, the effect of stack slope is superimposed on the establishment of the uniform gas flow. This effect covers the influence of the tuyere protrusion, and non-uniformity of gas flow distribution is determined entirely by the stack slope. The results of the experimental investigations at the pilot plant are presented in Fig. 4 for the case of 0 stack slope of 84 and the tuyere protrusion of about 0.2 of hearth radius. This figure indicates the agreement between the calculated and experimental results. Analysis of the gas distribution in the stack of the blast furnace pilot plant shows the decrease of the non-uniformity of gas distribution during the gas movement from tuyere level to belly and the following increase along the stack. In a cylindrical stack, however, a continuous decrease of non-uniformity of gas-distribution occurs up the bed.

Fig. 3: Presentation of the problem (a) and gasdynamics grid (b) in the blast furnace.

Fig. 4: Distribution of relative gas velocity vrel over the furnace levels. This phenomena is used for optimum design of the shaft furnaces for limestone heat treatment, DRI shaft furnaces, cupolas etc. [7-10].

5/6 The furnace profile however, also affects the character of material movement. In the blast furnace, the lumps of burden during the physical-chemical transformation change their shape and phase. In this case the necessity of the conical stack is obvious. Calculations show, that the lowest strength in the layer of materials is observed with the slope of the o stack of about 85 [11]. Therefore, the optimal slope of the stack of blast furnace has to be in the range of 0 0 83 85 . The optimal slope has to be increased with a decrease of the coefficient of materials internal friction. The autonomous gas-dynamic operation of reduction or calcination zone in the cylindrical shaft furnace can be provided either by means of making a shaft knuckle in the division zone whose diameter is 0.2-0.4 that of the shaft or by pumping reducing gas into the cooling zone making up 10-15% of cooling gas consumption. The gas flow from the cooling zone into the calcination or reduction zone, does not affect the optimum parameters of gas distribution devices, causing simultaneously worsening heat and reduction operation of the axial section of the furnace. The effective operation of the central and peripheral gasdischarging devices is obtained with central gasdischarging-top radii ratio being 0.3-0.325, and also when per-unit gas amount removed through the central gas-discharging device exceeds 80% of its per-unit area. It has been found that for the furnaces with uniform distribution of charge materials there is a similarity between the velocity fields and gas flow temperatures. The developed procedure to determine local porosity of the bed has created a basis for correct calculation of material flow heat capacity. Therefore new methods of controlling the heat cycle of the shaft furnaces have been suggested. The developed mathematical model was also used to analyze the operation of the Midrex DRI furnace at Oskol metallurgical works. Through simulations, it was determined that the following modifications to the furnace design and operation had to be made in order to obtain optimum temperature and gas flow profiles: The installation of a central gas outlet device at the top of the furnace. When adjusted optimally, this device increases the intensity of heat exchange processes, and eliminates the area of lower temperature along the axis in the preheating and reduction zones. The operation parameters of the upper gas lock remaining unchanged Determination of optimal parameters for the cooling gas outlet devices, with the final aim of eliminating gas flow exchange between the cooling and reduction zones. The introduction of tuyeres for the cooling gas injection at the bottom of the cooling zone, and optimization of flow ratio between the central and peripheral nozzles for cooling gas. The use of the tuyeres allows an increase in the working space of the cooling zone and an improvement in the heat treatment of the metallized pellets. This modification does, however, require a slightly higher pressure in the lower gas lock to maintain the reducing atmosphere inside the furnace. The temperatures and flow stream lines in the furnace before and after modernization are shown in Fig. 5.

Fig. 5: Temperature profiles and gas flow in Oskol shaft furnace. On average, the natural gas feed rate was decreased by 7-9%, the furnace capacity increased by 13-17%, and the reduction ratio increased by 6-8% as a result of the implementation of these modifications. The introduction of the recommendations and methods of controlling the process in cupolas and the shaft furnaces for limestone calcination raised the capacity of the units by 10-15%, improved the quality of the finished product by 3-5%, reduced fuel rate by 5-8% and lowered CO emissions into the atmosphere by 25-30%. The employment of the optimum tuyeres slope and protrusion decrease the coke rate in the blast furnaces by 2-4%. 5. CONCLUSIONS The following conclusions can be made based on this study results:

6/6 The mathematical model of interconnected processes of heat and mass transfer, gas and material movement and material melting for blast furnaces, shaft furnaces and cupolas was developed. The adequacy of the results of calculations and the experimental data is shown. A method for conversion of conservation equation is developed. It leads to a sufficient increase of the efficiency of stream function use for gas velocity calculation. The procedure of specifying boundary conditions for the shaft furnaces with internal gas distribution devices is described. Application of the developed method allows to determine the parameters of the shaft furnaces to maintain the autonomous operation of technological zones. The optimal design and operating parameters for the blast furnaces, shaft furnaces and cupolas have been developed. Their implementation sufficiently improved the furnaces performance. Furnaces", Steel (Russia), No. 6, 1996, p.p. 84 86. (9) Y. Gordon, M. Blank, V. Madison and P. Abovian. Decrease of greenhouse emissions in metallurgical lime production. Proceedings of COM Conference on Greenhouse Gases in the Metallurgical Industries: Policies, Abatement and Treatment. Toronto, Ontario, Canada, August 26-29, 2001. p.p.263-272 (10)Y. Gordon, "Optimization of Thermo-chemical Packed - Bed Systems", 1996 CSME Forum, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, 1996, May 7 - 9, p.p. 216 - 220. (11) E. Toropov and N. Dmitrieva, Gas- hydraulicdynamics of the Layer Process and the Profile of Blast Furnace, Izvestia Vuzov. Tchernaya Metallurgia, 1985, No. 8, p.p. 25-28.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS With special thanks to Mr. Kevin OLeary and Mr. John Wheeler, Hatch, for their encouragement in preparing this paper REFERENCES (1) Blast Furnace Phenomena and Modelling, Committee Chairman Yasuo Omori. Elsevier Applied Science, London and New York. 1987. (2) Y. Gordon, B.A. Bokovikov, V.S. Shvidkii, Yu. G. Yaroshenko, Heat Operation of Shaft Furnaces and Close-Packed Units, Metallurgia, Moscow, 1989. (3) A.D. Gosman, W.M. Pun, A.E. Runchal, D.B. Spalding, M. Wolfshtein, Heat and Transfer in Recirculating Flows, Academic Press, London, 1969. (4) N.N. Viswanathan, M.N. Srinivasan and A.K. Lahiri, Steady State Three-Dimensional Mathematical Model For Cupola, Ironmaking and Steelmaking, 1997, Vol. 24, No. 6, p.p. 476483. (5) V.S. Shvidkii, Y. Gordon, B.A. Bokovikov, Yu.G. Yaroshenko, Mechanisms of Gas Movement in the Tuyere Region of Blast Furnaces, International Blast Furnace and Raceway Symposium, Newcastle, Australia, 1981, p.p. 17.1-17.7. (6) Y. Gordon, V. Shvidkii, Yu. Yaroshenko, N. Vagin, V. Biruchev, A Multidimensional Mathematical Model for Design and Operation of the Shaft Furnaces, Proceedings book of the 15th CMMI Congress, Sun City, South Africa, 1994, September 4-8, Vol. 2, p.p. 93-97. (7) Y. Gordon, Improvement of Heat Treatment in Midrex Furnace, Steel World, 1996, No. 1, p.p. 33-35. (8) Y. Gordon, V. Madison, D. Shvidkii, Yu. Yaroshenko, "Improvement of the Technology for Carbonate Materials Heat Treatment in the Shaft