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Importance of Combustion Control and Emissions Monitoring in Steel Production

Tuesday, November 2, 2021 | Peter Unwin
Categories : Products

The Global Steel Industry is facing a significant challenge to reduce its impact on global warming, with many signing up to reduce carbon emissions to 50% by 2030 on the way to achieving carbon zero by 2050. With these targets in mind and the current high price level of fuels such as natural gas, now is a good time to consider solutions AMETEK Land offers for monitoring emissions from combustion processes.   

Combustion operations during steel production processes produce emissions that are subject to strict environmental regulations. Monitoring and controlling these emissions is a regulatory requirement and also provides process efficiency benefits.

In addition, monitoring carbon monoxide (CO) and oxygen (O2) supports combustion control, leading to significant savings in fuel costs and safer operation.

Controlling particulate matter emissions, such as dust and other pollutants, is also a key application but can prove challenging. The high particulate environment adversely affects both the measurements and the instrument itself.

Continuous emissions monitoring helps ensure that plants meet the necessary control regulations, avoiding the prospect of sizeable fines. In some cases, this monitoring supports the improvement of operational efficiency, lowering production costs. It can also reduce emissions damage to the plant, extending equipment life.

Combustion control and emissions and particulates monitoring are key at several stages within the steel making process:

Coke OvenCoke Ovens

To ensure optimum blast furnace operation and hot metal quality, coke is a critical raw material. High-quality coke provides the lowest amounts of impurities along with the highest thermal energy and metal reduction. Introducing high-quality coke to a blast furnace will result in a lower coke rate, higher productivity, and lower metal cost.

Typically, coke is produced by carbonising coal at high temperatures. Waste combustion gases from this process are either removed via a stack or transferred to a waste heat recovery boiler, which converts the excess heat into steam for power generation.

Both these methods require monitoring of the combustion gases for optimisation of the process and control of emissions.

 Application  Measurement  Recommended Product 
 Oven Stack  Opacity Emissions  4500 MkIII Opacity Monitor
 Particulate Matter Emissions  4650-PM Particulate Matter Monitor
 Waste Heat Boiler  Oxygen  WDG-1200/1210 Flue Gas Oxygen Analyser
 Gas Emissions  Lancom 4 Portable Gas Analyser

Electric Arc FurnaceElectric Arc Furnace

An Electric Arc Furnace (EAF) does not use coal or coke; instead, it uses the heat generated from an electric arc to form molten steel, usually from scrap metal and direct reduced iron (DRI).

Combustion control is not an issue for the EAF, as there is no requirement to balance fuel and O2 levels. Process efficiency can be controlled by measuring the temperature as the steel is tapped from the furnace.

However, it is still critical to monitor emissions and dust generated by the furnace. These pollutants exit via the EAF stack, so measurements here are
key to ensuring compliance with environmental regulations.

 Application  Measurement  Recommended Product
Electric Arc Furnace Opacity Emissions  4500 MkIII Opacity Monitor
Particulate Matter Emissions  4650-PM Particulate Matter Monitor

Rolling MillRolling Mill

A reheat furnace brings the steel to the correct temperature before it passes into the rolling mill. Controlling the reheat furnace is key to reducing fuel costs and the time required for this stage of the steelmaking process. While temperature measurements play an important role in the uniformity of heating and quality of the steel, the efficiency of the combustion process itself depends on the ratio of the air to fuel.

A combined measurement solution for both oxygen and carbon monoxide enables closer control of the air-fuel ratio. This, in turn, allows optimisation of the combustion reaction, increasing furnace efficiency and reducing fuel costs.

 Application  Measurement  Recommended Product
Reheat Furnace Oxygen & Combustibles  FGA Series Multi-gas Analyser

We offer a comprehensive range of specialised and advanced options for combustion in steel production to monitor flue gases to prevent harmful emissions and ensure efficient combustion. Designed to operate in the harsh environments found in the steel industry, our instruments deliver critical measurements for process control, reducing costs and improving product quality.



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