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ROTAFLAM burner performance ring alternative fuels at CEMENTOS POLPAICO (Holcim Group, Chile)

Th. BERGERE, R&D Dpt, Fives Pillard, Marseille (France) F. GOULUT, Plant manager, CEMENTOS POLPAICO, Chile

The Cementos POLPAICO (HOLCIM group), located 40 km north of SANTIAGO (Chile), uses a 1700 TPD Polysius (dry process without calciner), tted with a grate cooler. A particularity of the plant is the raw meal preparation: aqueous homogenization of the meal in open-sky tanks after grinding, resulting in a very stable raw meal composition. The three support type rotary kiln (69m long & 4.2m diameter) was originally equipped with a 77 MW Fives Pillard 3-channel burner (1980), ring diesel oil (for start-up) and bituminous coal (sulphur content = 1%). In 2001, a wide program targeted a decrease in energy costs by ring a maximum ow of several alternative fuels (AFR) according to supply possibilities: Dry saw-dust (4 t/h, Cl<0.1%, & S<1%) Waste oil (4 t/h, Cl=0.2-0.4% & S<1%) Plastics and shredded tyres at kiln inlet (~1 t/h, Cl<0.3% & S<1%)

The Cementos POLPAICO plant.


Such burner was not adapted to meet these new requirements: no mean for solid AFR injection and an oil gun not well adapted. When ring waste oil (the only AFR available at this time), it produced a long and soft ame, leading to unstable kiln conditions and uneven coating, with: high internal cycles of chloride & sulphur, observed by high Cl and SO3 rates in the hot meal at the kiln inlet (> 1.5 & 2%), blockages at riser duct and in the bottom stage cyclones, leading to several kiln shut-downs and production loss. Under such conditions, the refractory lifetime was shortened. Consequently, the waste oil ow rate had to be limited less than 700 kg/h (~7 MW).


To meet POLPAICOs requirements, Fives Pillard supplied a High Momentum ROTAFLAM burner, similar to those commissioned at HOLCIM ECLEPENS and UNTERVATZ plants (Switzerland). A complete burner support trolley was also supplied. 4 tubes are inserted in the burner central plate: two for alternative solid fuels, tted with additional swirl air (Fives Pillard patent # EP 0967434 B1): one for dry saw dust/ sludge and one for a future additional solid AFR, one for the diesel oil gun or waste oil gun, one for a gas ignitor.

ROTAFLAM burner tip 1/2

The AFR rate in the kiln burner reaches up to 40% thermal substitution as spot data, with: Up to 4 t/h saw-dust (18 MW) Up to 2.5 t/h waste oil (28 MW) Some petcoke (mixed with coal) and some sludge (mixed with saw dust) were also red for some time, without disturbance for the kiln.

POLPAICO production team with the ROTAFLAM burner

Kiln shell scanner

The ame momentum reaches 9 N/MW (excl. fuel and conveying air), with 13.3% primary air (excl. conveying air). The coating is now stabilized with a short (~17 m) & small diameter (~3 m) ame. The volatilization of alkalis is now well controlled: the volatilization coefcient has been reduced from 0.93 to 0.72 (HOLCIM standard). The rates of condensed Cl and SO3 in the hot meal at kiln inlet have been both reduced by 20 to 30% (c.f table). Moreover, over the past 11 months, the kiln was not shut-down because of combustion problems.

The burner change from 3-channel to ROTAFLAM permitted to reach the POLPAICOs targets: possibility to burn various AFR (up to 40%) with stable kiln conditions, even coating and unchanged clinker quality. Cementos POLPAICO intends now to start a second phase of production increase, upgrading the ID Fan and accelerating the kiln rotation. In addition, the burner will be reinstalled in the kiln axis to increase the rate of alternative fuels while improving the volatilization coefcient. 3-channel burner Momentum (N/MW) % primary air primary air pressure % A.F.R. in heat released A.F.R. Kiln conditions % SO3 in hot meal % Cl in hot meal Volatilization coecient 7 15% 2 self-checking ame detectors 14,000 Pa < 10% - waste oil Unstable coating 1.5 - 2 0.93
Comparative data between the old and the new burner

ROTAFLAM burner 9 13.30% 1002D 25,000 Pa 20% average, up to 40% - waste oil - saw dust Stable 1 - 1.6 (-20 to 30%) 0.72 (-25%)