• Efficiency and Flexibility of Energy Use in the Iron and Steel Industry: Minimise Costs and CO2 Emissions

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Editor’s Note: Today TOTeM23 is published as part of the IFRF Service, “Combustion Trends for the Future”.  TOTeM23 was held at the IFRF Communications Centre in the Netherlands on Tuesday 18th March 2003.

The TOTeM23 report, IFRF Doc. No. D121/y/12 – “Efficiency and Flexibility of Energy Use in the Iron and Steel Industry: Minimise Costs and CO2 Emissions”,  by Neil Fricker, Jeff Rhine and Frank Fitzgerald, IJmuiden, April 2003, can be downloaded in sections or as a complete pdf document, along with copies of the presentations made at the TOTeM, from http://www.trends.ifrf.net. This report and the copies of the presentations are restricted to Individual Members of the IFRF. However, the Chairman Frank Fitzgerald’s open report is presented below:

Chairman’s Open Report: This Topic Oriented Technical Meeting – TOTeM – is one of a series in which we are focussing on present day requirements in the main industrial sectors served by the IFRF.  TOTeM23 is concerned with the Iron and Steel Industry. We should recall that The IFRF came into being in the 1940s as a result of cooperative efforts by members of the European Steel Industry to solve combustion engineering problems faced by the industry at that time.

The main topics addressed in this TOTeM are:

  • Developments in the utilisation of by-product fuel gases;
  • Application of flameless combustion techniques in the iron and steel industry;
  • The need for radical changes in energy utilisation in the industry if carbon reduction targets are to be reached.

The Keynote Speaker, Nico Thijssen, Director Process Research for Corus RD&T, addresses the general topic of the TOTeM: “Efficiency and Flexibility of Energy Use in the Iron and Steel Industry: Minimise Costs and CO2 Emissions”.

An important aspect here, particularly in relation to cost minimisation, is the potential to improve utilisation of by-product gases within integrated works. Concerning this topic of gas utilisation, it is noted that at the IFRF Research Station there has been a considerable bulk of experimental work undertaken on heat transfer from mixtures of by product gases and on burner design characteristics for the firing of a variety of mixed gases.

Details of the facilities and the work done at the Research Station is presented.  It is noted that the IFRF will resume work on Coke Oven Gas – COG – firing in the High Efficiency Combustion Research Programme and in other investigations in 2003. Simultaneously there will be the capability to fire enriched Blast Furnace Gas – BFG -and to prepare fuel gases to simulate raw BFG and Basic Oxygen Steelmaking Gas – BOSG.

A major consideration for integrated works is to increase the efficiency of existing reheating furnaces, for example through the application of modern regenerative systems based on flameless combustion.

The session on this topic – “Modern Applications for Regenerative Combustion with Minimum Environmental Impact” give valuable information from three international developers in this field – North American Manufacturing Company – WS Inc and Air Liquide Technology Division.

These presentations set the scene for the following day’s TOTeM24 Keynote Presentation on “The Development of High Temperature Air Combustion in the field of regenerative combustion with minimum environmental impact” given by Toshiaki Hasegawa, Managing Director, Division Manager Combustion Equipment Division, Nippon Furnace KK – NFK, Japan.

Finally there is an important presentation detailing the possibilities of Carbon Trading which  presents information augmenting the central theme of the TOTeM – Carbon Dioxide Reduction, introduced by the Keynote Speaker. A far-reaching conclusion of the TOTeM is that “There is a need for a major technological ‘breakthrough’ either to dramatically alter the steelmaking process route to reduce or eliminate the production of CO2, which is difficult to envisage at the present time or, alternatively, to enable the CO2 produced to be sequestered in some way.”

Dr. Frank Fitzgerald
TOTeM23 Chairman
President, British Flame
March 2003