• TOTeM 42 Report

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TOTEM 42 meeting has been organised on 24 and 25 of June at the kind invitation of TATA STEEL Ijmuiden and of the NVV of the Netherlands. The meeting attracted 40 participants, most of them from industry and from 11 countries including the US and Argentina.

Prior to the meeting itself the participants had the opportunity to visit one of the largest and most efficient steel plant in Europe i.e. TATA STEEL ex CORUS ex HOOGOVENS in Ijmuiden. During the visit we could see with some emotion the site where the IFRF research station had operated for almost 60 years since 1948!

The theme of the meeting: “INDUSTRIAL HEATING: FURNACES, PROCESS HEATERS, KILNS, DESIGN OF SAFE AND ENVIRONMENTALLY EFFICIENT THERMAL EQUIPMENT” was covered by 13 presentations, 4 posters and two panel discussions. As usual for TOTEM meetings intense discussions and networking during all sessions’ breaks and meals gave plenty of opportunity for participants to get updated about most recent developments, to reach a deeper understanding of their preferred topics and to find out who is doing what in their respective field of interest.

The Iron and Steel industry was addressed with presentations concerning reheating furnaces, annealing and galvanizing furnaces, hot stoves for blast furnaces, and travelling grates for pelletizing plants. These presentations highlighted issues like combustion induced vibrations and noise (hot stove fired with low calorific value Blast Furnace gas), NOx, Energy conservation (regenerative burners, radiant tube burners), larger use of BF gas or Flameless Oxidation systems.

Oil and Gas industry was also well addressed and showed interest for Low NOx burners/systems, optimum combination of burner and furnace design, safety and search for better on line process control  and automation.

Cement and Glass Furnaces were addressed by presentations showing the benefit of CFD modelling for NOx reduction and efficiency improvements.

Across different industrial sectors there is a trend for regular use of CFD models. Although there are still many questions about their accuracy and reliability they are more and more utilised for design and, for understanding and predicting overall performances of systems. These models are used also for retrofitting existing systems with low Capex and minimum operational disturbance and risk. The potential for using modelling as a tool for on line process control was debated.

Another remarkable trend across industry is the continuous need for optimum burner/furnace design and the fact that NOx remains a strong driver for research and development work. Although low NOx systems do exist other constraints like fuel variability (including Natural Gas ),requirements for extreme flexibility of operations (high turn down capability),energy savings and severe restrictions on other pollutants than NOx (CO, particulates) maintain a need for improvements through research and development and keep a challenging time ahead for combustion engineers. No doubt the IFRF family will remain busy with such topics in the future.

On behalf of IFRF I wish to the participants and the speakers for their input in the success of our TOTEM 42;

We owe a special thanks to TATA STEEL, particularly Pepijn PRONK and Monique van LAAR BETJES and also to Joris KOOMEN from NVV for their kind invitation, excellent organisation and contribution to this meeting.