1999 Volume 39 Issue 7 Pages 617-624
The main charge material for the steel production is liquid hot metal. It is mainly produced in blast furnaces. The blast furnace operates according to the counter-current principle. The process makes the blast furnace reliant on lumpy materials to maintain a gas-permeable stock column. The most important reducing agent is therefore the lumpy coke. Auxiliary reducing agents, such as coal or oil, are injected via the tuyeres. The tasks of coke and coal for the hot metal production and the requirements of the blast furnace on coal-and coke-quality are described.
The consumption of coal and coke in the blast furnace is met on the one hand by the market or on the other hand by the own production. It depends on the conditions of the market and the availability of production facilities. World-wide the production of hot metal and crude steel via the blast furnace/converter route is regarded as the dominant process line also in future. Consequently, after their successes in the past, the ironmaking and steelmaking industry have joined their efforts with the cokemaking industry to exploit still more development potentials for hot metal production.