Excerpt from report published in the March 2013 U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Manufacturing Office IMPACTS
By U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Manufacturing Office
Optimizing Blast Furnace Operation to Increase Efficiency and Lower Costs
A key component to the smelting process in iron making is the blast furnace (BF) where recent concerns have been raised about suitable coal supply, energy efficiency and emissions. Improvement can be achieved by burning pulverized coal versus metallurgical or coke coal. Understanding the parameters that affect BF efficiency and productivity will become crucial as pulverized coal use increases and energy conservation is mandated. The complexity of a BF’s materials burden and output gas distribution effects on productivity and stability are known but not fully understood.
This project has developed software which can simulate BF behavior utilizing computational fluid dynamics. The software predicts BF gas distribution by including fluid flow and chemical kinetics as well as other fundamental BF operation parameters. Optimized BF operation for a given fuel injection rate and efficiency can be calculated and the resulting gas distribution compared to process monitoring data thus enabling improved BF efficiency and productivity and lower emissions.Link to Full Technology Report