Numerical Investigation of Novel Oxygen Blast Furnace Ironmaking Processes
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Oxygen blast furnace (OBF) ironmaking process has the potential to realize “zero carbon footprint” production, but suffers from the “thermal shortage” problem. This paper presents three novel OBF processes, featured by belly injection of reformed coke oven gas, burden hot-charge operation, and their combination, respectively. These processes were studied by a multifluid process model. The applicability of the model was confirmed by comparing the numerical results against the measured key performance indicators of an experimental OBF operated with or without injection of reformed coke oven gas. Then, these different OBF processes together with a pure OBF were numerically examined in aspects of in-furnace states and global performance, assuming that the burden quality can be maintained during the hot-charge operation. The numerical results show that under the present conditions, belly injection and hot charge, as auxiliary measures, are useful for reducing the fuel rate and increasing the productivity for OBFs but in different manners. Hot charge should be more suitable for OBFs of different sizes because it improves the thermochemical states throughout the dry zone rather than within a narrow region in the case of belly injection. The simultaneous application of belly injection and hot charge leads to the best process performance, at the same time, lowering down hot-charge temperature to achieve the same carbon consumption and hot metal temperature as that achieved when applying the hot charge alone. This feature will be practically beneficial in the application of hot-charge operation. In addition, a systematic study of hot-charge temperature reveals that optimal hot-charge temperatures can be identified according to the utilization efficiency of the sensible heat of hot burden.
The authors are grateful to the Australian Research Council (ARC) (IH140100035), the Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC) (U1560205), and the Baosteel Australia Research and Development Center (BAJC) (BA16002) for the financial support of this work; and to the National Computational Infrastructure (NCI) and Intersect Australia for the use of their high-performance computational facilities.
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