Tata Steel UK is implementing an improvement programme at its two Port Talbot blast furnaces that will reduce their CO2 emissions by 160,000 tonnes/year, Kallanish notes.
The BFs, which currently produce around 3.6 million t/y of liquid iron, are powered by high pressure hot blast air that is superheated to temperatures of more than 1,100°C. Recycled on-site process gases are used to heat the air in seven refractory-brick-lined stoves, before it is injected into the furnaces. Each stove is around 45m high and 8m in diameter.
“Any loss of efficiency in heating the air means we either have to use more gas than is optimum, or we have to replace that lost energy by using more metallurgical coke to chemically reduce the iron ore inside the furnaces,” says Tata Steel UK project manager Andrew McGregor.
The programme at three of the seven stoves will upgrade the burners that generate heat, with two new best-available-technology units being installed.
Many of the refractory bricks that store heat and make hot blast air are also being replaced. The work is being carried out while the remaining operational stoves are in use.
Adam Smith Poland