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Iron Making by Blast Furnace

Presentation at EDRC - Kolkata on 14th Feb 2007 by N. R. Sudheer

Steel Making Value Chain

Steel making flow line

Steel making flow line - Finishing

History and evolurtion

What is Iron making?

Winning of Iron metal from its Ores. Smelting reduction of Oxide ores with Carbon as a reducing agent.

Reduction of Iron
Reduced from Ore in two ways. In Solid State- Mixed with slag and impurities such as Silica and Alumina and residual carbon (Puddle Iron with Charcoal as reducing agent / Sponge Iron with Coke breeze as reducing agent) generally classified as Direct reduction and In Liquid State- at High temperatures above the melting point of Fe and at high pressures with a combination of reduction mechanisms- directly by Carbon and Indirectly by Carbon Monoxide. (Predominantly by Indirect means)

Tonnage Steelmaking in Integrated Steel Plants

Done in Two Stages. First Stage- Iron Smelting / Iron making To produce Liquid Iron that is impure and saturated with Carbon and other contaminant elements. Second Stage- Steelmaking / Refining of Liquid Iron by Oxidising the Impurities in Basic Oxygen Furnaces to produce Steel of required qualities.

Modern Ironmaking Basics

Iron making basics

Making iron is the first step in producing steel Iron should be produced of consistent quality. C= 4.5 -5 %, Si =0.0.4 1..0%, Mn = 0.2-0.3%, S= 0.015- 0.040% , P=0.080-0.090%, Rest Fe.

Blast furnace is a reactor to produce iron. Ore reaches molten state and gets separated physically due to density from gangue and impurities. Presence of excess carbon reduces the melting point of iron to 1150oC.
Iron purity is controlled by controlling the composition of the slag.

Liquid Iron Pig Iron Hot metal

Pig Iron allusion to suckling Pigs in Sand molds of a cast floor. When cast into standard molds for merchant foundriesknown as Pigs on solidification. Integrated Steel Plants refer to Liquid Iron as Hot metal. An Intermediate product which feeds the Refining stage of Steelmaking.

Bulk of the Hot metal is produced by Blast Furnaces

Blast Furnace a Counter current Gas Solid / Liquid reactor operating at high temperatures and pressures. Solids charged from the top. Reducing gases generated at the bottom by combustion of Carbon either as Charcoal or Coke

Blast Furnace
A Refractory lined Vertical Steel shaft with a closure at the top to admit solid reactants (such as Iron ores, Fluxing Limestone and Coke) Ports below to admit Hot air to burn Carbon for generating reducing gases. The solid raw material above gradually descends to replace the voids created by gasifying carbon. The solids soften and melt along the way as they get heated up and are fully liquefied by the time they reach the bottom. Difference in Densities of Liquid metal and Slag makes it easy to be drained out separately.

Why the Shape of Blast Furnace?

Blast Furnace Profile and Logic

Throat 180 to 300 deg C -Drying

Stack 300 to 650 deg C Swelling and Mild reduction, decrepitation

Parallel Bosh 650 to 950 deg CIntensive reduction Lower Bosh 950 to 1800 deg C melting and dripping zone Hearth 1400 to 1350 deg C Pool, slag metal separation

Role of Coke
Supply Heat needed for the process.- Drying - Calcination of Fluxes - Reduction of Iron Oxides - Slagging of Gangue with Fluxes - Compensate losses in cooling, radiation and sensible losses.
Act as Spacer and Support the Burden.

Coke Rate
Coke Rate or Carbon Rate is a function of
Raw Material,Flux and Coke chemistry and level of impuruties. Higher the impurities more the Carbon rate. Mass and Heat Balance determines the CR Typical Iron / Carbon Ratios 1.3 in India to 2.2 in European countries.
Typical Indian Coke has 20% to 23 % Ash Typical Ash composition is 55% SiO2 and 30 % Al2 O3

Sintering Process
Material Bins Ore

Coke Return Fines



Mixing and Nodulizing Drum

Sinter Machine Waste Gas Fan and Gas Cleaning Sinter Cooler


Hearth Layer

Product Sinter Return Fines


Iron Balance
Fe Input from = Fe Output in
Hot Metal ( ~93 94 % )+ Slag as FeO (~ 1.0% )+ Flue Dust as Fe2O3 + Fe in Runner scrap Ore (~ 63% ) + Sinter ( ~ 47 54% ) + Pellets ( ~ 60- 63% )+ Coke (~ 2% )

Iron Ore required per ton

Assume Iron content in Ore at 65% Hot Metal has 94% Fe Loss in Flue dust and Slag at 1% Loss in Runner at 1% Iron ore per ton of HM = 940/(0.9 *0.9*0.64) kg = 1498 kg

Lime Stone required per Ton

Typical Analysis
CaO - 45 %; SiO2 4%; Al2O3 1.3%; MgO 5% Assume Slag Basicity = CaO / SiO2 = 0.95
Fluxing Efficiency = 100 / ( CaO 0.95* SiO2) = 2.43 Every Kg of SiO2 added to BF needs 2.3 Kg of Limestone to flux and generate slag of required Basicity.

Carbon Balance
C input from = C Output in
Hot Metal ( ~ 94% ) + in Gas as CO and CO2 + Coke ( ~ 77 82 % ) + Injected Coal, if any +

Oxygen Balance
O2 input from
Air + Injected O2 + From Ore

O2 Output in
BF Gas as CO and CO2

One Kg of Carbon in hearth needs 3 Nm3 of Air to burn.

Nitrogen Balance
N2 Input from Air = N2 Output in Top Gas ( 56% typical ) = 79 / 56 = 1.41

(79% typical )
Ratio of Top Gas Volume to Blast Volume

Blast Furnace Reactions

C + O2 CO2 CO2 + C 2 CO Fe2O3 + 3 CO 2 Fe + 3 CO2

Hearth Area
Carbon Burning Intensity ( CBI )
Carbon burnt in Kg per hour per sq. m Normal Top Pressure - 750 kg/hr/m2 High Top Pressure - 1000 kg/hr/m2

Blast Volume
= (Carbon burnt / hr ) x ( 3 Nm3 per kg )

Hearth Area.
= Hotmetal -tpd* Coke rate * FC in Coke / 24 hrs/
Ex: Vizag BF ~ 6650 tpd / 550 kgpthm / FC 84% = 130m2 area = 13m hearth dia

Tons of HM per m3 of Useful Volume.
Typically 1.0 for Carbon rates of 750 kgpthm For Carbon Rates of 400 kgpthm ~ 700/400 For European CR of 280 300 kgpthm ~ 2.5 to 2.3

Furnace Volume

= Tons of Production per day / productivity

No of Tuyeres
= Perimeter of Tuyere tip circle in mm / 1100 mm
Tuyere tip circle dia = Hearth Dia in mm 500 mm No of tuyeres are in even numbers

Tuyere sizes
Tuyere Area on basis of 220 250 mps of air velocity.

BF Cooling and Lining

Water cooling- Protect Shell
Recirculating Evaporative Plate / Stave

Lining - Protect Shell

Fire clay Silica / Alumina /Mullite Silicon Carbide Graphite/ Carbon

Top equipment
Blast furnace can have either a Bell top (Double bell system with or without movable throat armour) or a Bell less top. Double bell system has a small and a big bell/ small bell arranged one below the other. Hoppers present at the bells store the raw materials charged. Either one of the bells are kept closed at a time to prevent the escape of gas. Modern furnaces use BLT (Bell less top system)

Bell less top arrangement

Rotary Charging System

Stock house
Raw materials of different types are brought from respective plants say coke from coke oven plant, sinter from sinter plant via conveyor belts and stored here. It receives, stores, screens, weighs and charges the raw material. Typical Stock house Assembly: Conveyor 1: Feeding iron ore & additives from ore handling plant Conveyor 2: Feeding two fraction of coke (34-60 mm & 60-80 mm) from coke ovens. Conveyor 3: Feeding Sinter from Sinter plant.

Typical stock house assembly

Stock house
The fines are separated while screening coke (-8 mm), sinter (-5 mm), iron ore (-8 mm) and carried away by a separate conveyor to Sinter plant base mix yard. Bunker outlets will have Vibro-feeders and Vibro-screens fro smooth flow of burden material. Design specifications for 8000 t/d blast furnace:
Sinter (two sizes 5-15 mm & 15-40 mm) Sized iron ore Additives

20 16-20 24

Fines (sinter -5mm, iron ore -8mm, coke breeze -8mm)

Gas Cleaning Plant

Scrubber Construction

Recycle Water Treatment

Hot Blast System

Recuperative Regenerative

Hot Blast Stoves

Internal Combustion Chamber External Combustion Chamber

General Arrangement of internal Combustion Chamber Hot blast Stove

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