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10 The Ohio State Engineer

KOPPERS COKE PLANTS


LEE C. BlERY, Metal. Engr. '.21

The great increase in the demand for coke for ovens alternate in the direction of the battery and
the metallurgical industries and especially for the beneath each oven there is a brick checker work
iron blast furnace, in the last five years, along or regenerator for reheating the air that goes in
with the ever increasing demand for the by- to aid in the combustion of the fuel gas in the
products of the coking process, has caused the chambers.
production of by-product coke to reach the The coal is dropped from the storage bins into
40,000,000 ton per year mark as against a four-compartment larry car and charged thru
15,000,000 tons produced in 1915. By far the the four holes in the top of each oven. The
greatest portion of this coke is produced in Semet- charge runs about 24,000 pounds of coal to the
Solvay, Otto Hoffman, and Koppers types of oven.
ovens, and the latter has the record of producing The volatile matter or gas from the coal is
more than any other one type of oven. driven off by the heat thru a stand-pipe or riser
In the United States there are Koppers plants and into a collector main, under a slight back
operating in seventeen States—Pennsylvania, pressure to prevent leakage of air into the ovens.
New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Virginia, West The temperature of coking varies with the coking
Virginia, South Carolina, Alabama, Ohio, Michi- period and the quality of coke desired. It usually
gan, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ken- averages about 1800° F. with a coking period of
tucky, Missouri and Colorado. The largest plant 17 or 18 hours.
is situated at Clairton, Pa., and consists of twelve The coke is pushed out of the ovens into a
hundred ovens with a capacity of 5,600,000 tons transfer car by means of an electrically operated
of coke per year. Pennsylvania leads in quantity pusher ram, after the door on eacji end has been
production of coke by the Koppers process. removed, the standpipe closed and the charging
It is the purpose of the writer to outline briefly holes opened. The car takes the hot coke to the
the Koppers process for the coking of coal and the quenching station where it is quenched with water
recovery of some of its by-products. and then screened. The ovens are numbered and
Not all coals have the properties necessary to the pushing is done in an order such as first No.
make them good coking coals and the choice so 1, then No. 5 and 9, 7, 2, 4, 10, 6, 8, 3, so that
far has been governed by experience alone. It they will not cool off too much. The large size
is usually conceded that the coking properties of coke goes to the blast furnace, the pea-coke to
coal are due to the resinous matter present and it domestic consumers and the coke breeze, or fine
has been found that a mixture of Elkhorn, a high coke, to the power plant to be fired in the boilers.
volatile coal from Kentucky, and Pocahontas, a The next step is the recovery of the by-prod-
low volatile coal, mined in West Virginia, pro- ucts from the gas. In some plants the gas from
duces the best quantity and quality of coke for the ovens is separated into rich and lean gas, the
blast furnace use and with the greatest yield of rich coming aff during the first part of the car-
by-products. A mixture of the two is necessary bonization and the lean during the latter part.
because Pocahontas expands greatly on coking In that case there are two collector mains, but as
and could not be pushed out of the ovens if used each goes thru practically the same processes for
alone and because Elkhorn gives a low yield of the recovery of by-products that practice will be
coke. The mixture in most cases is about 65% omitted here.
Pocahontas and 35% Elkhorn, and other coals are From the collector main the gas passes thru
also included in the mixture at some plants. a cross-over main which contains a butterfly
When the coal is received from the mines it is valve, operated by means of a Northwestern gov-
stored in a stock pile from which the supply for ernor, and from this point is drawn, usually by
the ovens is taken. On the way to the ovens the Connersville exhausters, thru the "down-comers"
coal is conveyed to Bradford breakers and ham- where some tar drops out, and thru the primary
mer-mills where it is crushed and pulverized to coolers. In this last apparatus the tar and am-
about one-eighth inch size, and where all sticks, monia liquor, condensed from the gas on cooling,
pieces of stone, and steel are removed. If more are removed and pumped to a separating tank
than one coal is used the mixture is effected by and then to tar and liquor storage tanks. The tar
means of continuous belt conveyors, the per- is marketed in that form and the liquor is charged
centage of each coal being governed by the speed into continuous ammonia stills. The ammonia
of the belt or by adjustable gates. The pulver- vapor from these stills is either used in the satu-
ized coal then reacjy for coking, travels by means rators to make ammonium sulphate or is con-
of other conveyor belts to the hoppers or bins densed and sold as a concentrated product of
over the ovens. refrigeration plants and manufacturers of
The ovens are built in batteries with from 40 chemicals.
to 120 ovens to one battery and each oven is about After the primary coolers the gas goes thru
37'xll'xl7-21" (inside), one side being wider the exhausters and P. & A. tar extractors, where
than the other to make the pushing of the coke nearly all of the remaining tar is removed, next
easier. The ovens are practically air tight and thru the reheaters and then to the saturators.
are heated on each side by a gas combustion The saturator is a lead-lined cast iron cylinder
chamber which gives heat to the silica walls of with a conical bottom, containing a bath of 5%
the ovens. These combustion chambers and (Continued on Page 24)
24 The Ohio State Engineer

KOPPERS COKE PLANTS gas then runs into the gas holder and from there
(Continued from Page 10) about 50% goes to the combustion chambers be-
tween the ovens and the same amount to the mu-
sulphuric acid. The gas bubbles thru the acid nicipal lighting companies or to other markets.
and the remainder of the ammonia is absorbed,
forming sulphate salt. The salt is ejected, by The wash-oil from the scrubbers is pumped to
means of compressed air, out of the saturator, storage tanks at the benzol plant and then charged
thru a vertical pipe, on to a draining table. The into wash-oil stills, distilling out the light oil.
bath drains off and runs back into the saturator The residual wash-oil circulates back to the scrub-
and the salt is shoved or paddled down into two bing towers and is used over again.
centrifugal driers where the free acid is washed The light oil is further distilled and benzol,
out with water or ammonia liquor and the salt toluol and solvent naphtha fractioned out. These
dried. From the driers the salt is weighed and products are purified by washing with acid and
conveyed to the stock pile. In some instances the caustic and by re-distillation.
sulphate is further dried in rotary driers and the
ammonia content increased by the application of The fractioning in the benzol plant is governed
ammonia vapor in this apparatus. The salt is largely by the market demand for the products
shipped to fertilizer manufacturers. Sometimes which it can furnish. During the war there was
the pyridine is recovered by distillation from the a great demand for toluol for the manufacture
saturator baths, not so much because of its value of T. N. T. and for benzol for motor fuel, and at
but because, if left in, under some conditions, it present most of the plants are producing pure
colors the salt. The reheater is inserted between benzol, about 88%, to mix with a low grade of
the tar extractor and saturator to increase the gasoline to make a high test product, and refined
temperature of the gas, thus increasing its water motor benzol, a mixture of benzol and solvent
carrying ability, increasing the speed of the reac- naphtha, for consumption in automobile engines.
tion and the formation of salt and producing a An increase in quantity production of ammonia,
salt made up of finer crystals. tar and light oil could be brought about by chang-
ing the temperatures and coking periods on the
After leaving the saturators the gas goes thru ovens, but such a practice would be at the expense
the final coolers, where it comes in contact with of the main product, coke.
water and the napthalene is washed out, after
which it is sent up thru the scrubbers. In this
apparatus wash-oil is sprayed down from the top Born to Mr. and Mrs. Alfred Halterman a son
of the towers and absorbs the light oil from the on December 5th. Mr. Halterman is a member
gas as it passes countercurrent. The residual of the class of 1921.

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