1998 Volume 38 Issue 3 Pages 239-245
Top gas recycling has been suggested as a method for reducing blast furnace fuel rates and thus reducing carbon emissions from the ironmaking process. Three methods of top gas recycling are numerically investigated using a mathematical model to predict the furnace performance at fixed blast volume and constant coke, ore and pulverised coal compositions with varying recycle volumes. For each recycling method, a first calculation sequence is performed varying recycle volume at fixed ore : fuel ratio, and also a second sequence at fixed average liquid metal outflow temperature.
Simple replacement of normal blast gases with recycled top gas is predicted to cause the production rate to decrease and the fuel rate to increase. Likewise, oxygen enriched blast replacement has similar effects, although the severity is less as the blast oxygen rate is maintained in this case. Both of these methods reduce furnace efficiency. Hot reducing gas (HRG) replacement, where CO2 is stripped from the recycled gas, leads to an increase in production of up to 25 % with a simultaneous decrease in fuel rate of 20 % at fixed metal temperature. These calculations show that top gas recycling could be used to increasing furnace efficiency while decreasing carbon emissions thus making a positive contribution to efforts to prevent global warming.