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ISIJ International, Vol. 51 (2011), No. 9, pp.

1425–1431

Coking Pressure Control by Selective Crushing of High Coking


Pressure Coal

Seiji NOMURA,1) Takashi ARIMA,1) Atsushi DOBASHI2) and Kazuhide DOI3)

1) Nippon Steel Corporation, Environment & Process Technology Center, 20-1, Shintomi, Futtsu, Chiba, 293-8511 Japan.
E-mail: nomura.seiji@nsc.co.jp 2) Nippon Steel Corporation, Kimitsu Works, Kimitsu 1, Kimitsu, Chiba, 299-1141 Japan.
3) Nippon Steel Corporation, Oita Works, Nishinosu 1, Oita, Oita, 870-0992 Japan.
(Received on March 11, 2011; accepted on May 30, 2011)

Controlling coking pressure is one of the most important aspects of the cokemaking process, since
excessive coking pressure increases the force needed for coke cake pushing and in some cases leads to
operational problems such as hard pushes or “stickers,” causing wall damage. Against this backdrop, we
investigated the selective fine crushing of high coking pressure coal as a way to reduce coking pressure.
It was shown on a laboratory scale that the fine crushing of high coking pressure coal increases the per-
meability of the plastic coal layer, which decreases coking pressure (internal gas pressure). Based on the
basic investigation, we tried the fine crushing of high coking pressure coal at commercial cokemaking
plants, and it was confirmed during a long-term commercial-scale experiment that the fine crushing of
high coking pressure coal decreases coking pressure and decreases the maximum power current of coke
pushing. Thus, the selective fine crushing of high coking pressure coal is a promising way to reduce cok-
ing pressure and prolong coke oven life.

KEY WORDS: coking pressure; crushing; plastic layer; permeability; coke pushing.

decrease coking pressure is required in order to reduce coke


1. Introduction
cake pushing force and increase coke yield.
During coal carbonization in a coke oven chamber, the The addition of inert material, such as coke breeze, and
swelling of molten coal causes a load called “coking pres- the fine crushing of coal are known as one method to
sure” on oven walls. Since excessive coking pressure decrease coking pressure,1) however, the former is not favor-
increases the force needed for coke cake pushing and in able since inert addition leads to the deterioration of coke
some cases leads to operational problems such as hard push- strength, and high strength coke is demanded for the stable
es or “stickers,” causing wall damage, one of the most operation of large blast furnaces. On the other hand, the lat-
important aspects of the cokemaking process is to control ter may improve coke strength,16,17) but the mechanism of
and reduce the coking pressure.1–11) With this in mind, coking pressure decrease caused by fine crushing is unclear.
Nippon Steel has developed dry coal-charging processes for While, a report18) suggests that a decrease in coking pressure
cokemaking, such as CMC (Coal Moisture Control)12) and with the fine crushing of coal observed in a top-charge mov-
DAPS (Dry-cleaned and Agglomerated Precompaction able-wall pilot coke oven is caused by a decrease in bulk
System).13,14) With the coal moisture being reduced to 5– density and that the fine crushing of coal increases coking
6 mass% using CMC and 2–4 mass% using DAPS, the pressure under the same bulk density. Therefore, the fine
advantages of less heat consumption for carbonization, crushing of coal in order to reduce coking pressure has not
higher productivity, and better coke quality were gained. been positively used on a commercial scale.
Since a decrease in coal moisture leads to an increase in coal In the current work, firstly we investigated the effect of
bulk density in the coke oven chamber, which increases cok- the fine crushing of coal on coking pressure under the same
ing pressure to a great extent, it is quite important to control coal charge bulk density through use of a test coke oven.
the coking pressure during the dry coal charging processes. Then, we developed a method to measure plastic coal layer
We have reported on the coal blending theory to control permeability, which is considered one of the dominant fac-
coking pressure and produce high-quality coke under high tors of coking pressure, and investigated the effect of the
coal charge bulk density in the dry coal charging process.15) fine crushing of coal on plastic coal layer permeability.
However, as coke ovens have been deteriorating recently, an Finally, based on the basic investigations, we tried the fine
additional method to reduce coking pressure is needed. crushing of coal in order to reduce coking pressure on a
Furthermore, since high coking pressure coal consists of commercial scale.
low-volatile-matter coal (high-rank coal), a method to use a
larger amount of high coking pressure coal as well as to

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ISIJ International, Vol. 51 (2011), No. 9

crushed (crushing after blending). The crushing conditions


2. Laboratory-scale Investigation
for internal gas pressure measurement tests are shown in
2.1. Experiment Table 3. The coal-crushing grain size was controlled by
2.1.1. Measurement of the Internal Gas Pressure in a Test adjusting the rotation speed of the test crushing machine. A
Coke Oven sample of –1.5 mm 100% was prepared by sieving crushed
The properties of the coal used in the laboratory-scale test coal with a 1.5 mm-size screen and by crushing +1.5 mm
and commercial-scale test are shown in Table 1. Coal A, fractions repeatedly. Moreover, in tests 3 and 4, a +1 mm
Coal B, and Coal C are high coking pressure coals, and the fraction of crushed Coal B was used.
maximum internal gas pressure measured in the test coke The prepared coal was then charged at a bulk density of
oven6) was 170 kPa, 370 kPa, and 50 kPa, respectively 850 dry kg/m3 in an electrically heated pilot coke oven
(where each single coal was crushed –3 mm 85% and (420 mm wide, 600 mm long, and 400 mm high15)) and was
charged at a bulk density of 850 kg/m3). carbonized for 18.5 hours under heating conditions equiva-
The blend design for the internal gas pressure measure- lent to the flue temperature of 1 250°C in an actual coke
ment tests are shown in Table 2. In tests 1–4, each single oven. The internal gas pressure was measured at the oven
coal was crushed into a desired grain size and then mixed width center (210 mm from the oven wall), the oven length
(crushing before blending). In tests 5 and 6, coal was mixed center, and 120 mm from the oven sole, using stainless steel
according to a blending ratio, and then the blended coal was tube probes (inner diameter 1 mm and outer diameter
2 mm).6) Previous experiments in our laboratory showed
Table 1. Coal characteristics. that there was a good correlation between the internal gas
pressures measured in this way and the coking pressure
Proximate Gieseler Ruhr Petrographic measured with a movable wall pilot oven.
Analysis Plastometry Dilatometry Analysis
Coal Log 10 (Max. Total Mean Total
Ash (db) VM (db) 2.1.2. Measurement of Plastic Coal Layer Permeability
Fluidity/ Dilatation Vit. Ref. Inerts
(%) (%)
ddpm) (%) (%) (vol.%) In order to investigate the effect of coal particle size on
the plastic coal layer permeability, the permeability was
A 11.3 17.1 1.30 42 1.67 25.9
measured using the apparatus shown in Fig. 1.19,20) A given
B 9.4 18.3 1.26 55 1.61 18.9 amount of a coal sample was charged in a constant volume
C 9.5 19.3 2.33 95 1.52 26.6 cell and carbonized with the expansion of the coal being
D 9.7 21.4 2.07 35 1.39 37.6
restricted. The permeability was then evaluated by measur-
ing the pressure drop caused by forced inert gas flow
E 9.8 21.7 1.21 21 1.35 35.3
through the plastic coal layer.
F 8.8 24.0 2.96 113 1.20 37.1 The reactor tube is made of stainless steel and the dimen-
G 6.7 33.2 4.13 194 0.93 21.9 sion of the space where the coal sample is charged is 10 mm
H 7.4 33.4 4.00 154 0.93 19.4
in diameter and 10 mm in length. In order to keep the coal
I 9.4 35.6 2.09 29 0.77 26.8 Table 3. Crushing conditions for internal gas pressure measure-
J 10.2 36.9 2.65 32 0.70 30.2 ment tests.

K 9.6 35.8 1.39 0 0.69 45.9 Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Test 4 Test 5 Test 6
L 7.3 36.3 2.29 40 0.68 26.9 Crushing-blending Blending-crushing
M 8.7 34.9 1.06 5 0.65 24.2 Coal B Coal C Coal B Blended coal
–3 mm 85% –3 mm 85% +1 mm 100% –3 mm 70%
Table 2. Blend design for internal gas pressure measurement tests. –3 mm 95% –3 mm 95% –3 mm 75% –3 mm 80%
Test 1 Test 2 Test 3 Test 4 Test 5 Test 6 –3 mm 95% –3 mm 90%
B 25 25 25 25 25 –1.5 mm 100% –1.5 mm 100%
C 50 Other coals (–3 mm 85%)
D 25 25
E 25 25
F 50 25
G 25 25
H 25 25
I 25 25
J 25
K 25
L 25
M 25
Total 100 100 100 100 100 100 Fig. 1. Plastic coal permeability test apparatus.

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Fig. 2. Particle size distribution of Coals B and C (tests 1–4).

volume constant during carbonization, the expansion of the


coal sample was restricted by sandwiching it between two
wire mesh plates with a 0.15 mm sieve, which were fixed
using inner tubes. Five reactor tubes could be set in an elec-
tric furnace at the same time, and a thermocouple was
placed in the center reactor tube to control the temperature.
After placing the four reactor tubes with the coal sample
into the furnace, the reactors were connected to the gas sup-
ply lines at the bottom and N2 was forced to flow at a con-
stant flow rate of 10 cm3/min (equivalent to a linear velocity
of 2 cm/s), controlled by a mass flow controller. The upper
end of the reactor was open to the atmosphere and connect-
ed to a vent. The sample was heated from room temperature
Fig. 3. Particle size distribution of blended coal (test 5).
to 300°C at 10°C/min and from 300–600°C at 5°C/min.
Changes in pressure with time were measured using a pres-
sure gauge placed between the reactor tube and the mass
flow controller. High coking pressure Coal A and Coal B
(coal particle size –2.8 mm, –1.5 mm, –1.0 mm, –0.6 mm,
–0.3 mm, and –0.15 mm) were used, and the bulk density
was 800 dry kg/m3.

2.2. Results and Discussion


2.2.1. Effect of the Fine Crushing of Coal on Coking Pres-
sure
The particle size distribution of Coal B and Coal C are
shown in Figs. 2 and 3, respectively. The coal was crushed
to a desired level. The relationship between the weight-aver-
age particle size and internal gas pressure is shown in Figs.
4, 5 and 6, with the particle sizes of Coal B or Coal C on
the x-axis in tests 1–4 and that of the blended coal on the x- Fig. 4. Effect of mean particle size of Coals B and C (in tests 1–4)
axis in tests 5 and 6. It is clear that the fine crushing of high and blended coal (in tests 5 and 6) on internal gas pressure.
coking pressure coal decreases internal gas pressure. In
addition, not only the selective fine crushing of high coking
u = –(K/μ )·(ΔP/L)............................ (1)
pressure Coal B and Coal C (crushing before blending, in
tests 1–4) but also the fine crushing of blended coal includ- where u [m/s] is the superficial velocity, K [m2] is the per-
ing Coal B and Coal C (crushing after blending, in tests 5 meability coefficient, μ [Pa·s] is the gas viscosity, L [m] is
and 6) reduces internal gas pressure. the length of the layer, and ΔP [Pa] is the pressure drop. The
permeability, K, can be obtained by assuming μ as has been
2.2.2. Effect of the Fine Crushing of Coal on Plastic Coal reported;19,20) however, here we used ΔP to represent perme-
Layer Permeability ability, since the lower ΔP is, the higher the permeability of
The relationship between superficial velocity and perme- the layer.
ability through a packed bed is described as follows accord- Figure 7 shows the changes in the pressure drop of Coal
ing to Darcy’s law: B during the permeability test (hereinafter referred to as

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Fig. 5. Effect of –3 mm % of Coals B and C (in tests 1–4) and Fig. 8. Effect of coal particle size on maximum pressure drop
blended coal (in tests 5 and 6) on internal gas pressure. (ΔPmax) measured in permeability test rig.

Fig. 6. Effect of –1 mm % of Coals B and C (in tests 1–4) and Fig. 9. Coal crushing plant.
blended coal (in tests 5 and 6) on internal gas pressure.

the fine crushing of high coking pressure coal could be


ascribed to the increase in the permeability of the plastic
coal layer.

3. Commercial-scale Investigation
3.1. Using Larger Amounts of High Coking Pressure
Coal by Fine Crushing It
Based on the basic investigations, we trialed the fine
crushing of high coking pressure coal at the Kimitsu coke-
making plant (No. 4 and No. 5 coke oven batteries, 184
chambers in total, oven width 430 mm, length 15 700 mm,
and height 6 500 mm). This plant is equipped with four
crushers, and each crusher has eight coal hoppers as shown
in Fig. 9. One crusher was used only for crushing high cok-
Fig. 7. Changes in pressure drop in permeability test (ΔP) with
temperature. ing pressure Coal B, and Coal B was crushed finely by
increasing the rotation speed of the crusher.
Before starting a long-term experiment, a batch test was
“ΔP”), with temperature. As temperature increases, ΔP carried out where blended coal, including finely crushed
starts to increase and shows a peak (ΔPmax). Then, it decreas- Coal B, was charged in several coke oven chambers. In this
es as the temperature approaches the resolidification tem- test, the internal gas pressure was measured at the oven
perature. The temperature range over which ΔP appears is width center below a charging hole by inserting stainless
nearly equivalent to the plastic temperature range of Coal B steel tube probes (inner diameter 1 mm and outer diameter
(softening temperature 454°C to resolidification tempera- 2 mm) with a “guide” bar through a hole in the oven door.
ture 507°C in a Gieseler fluidity test), and ΔPmax decreases Firstly, –3 mm of Coal B was increased from 85% to 93%,
as the particle size becomes finer. As shown in Fig. 8, the and the blending ratio of Coal B was kept constant at 6%.
fine crushing of high coking pressure Coal A and Coal B As shown in Fig. 10, the fine crushing of high coking pres-
increases the permeability of the plastic coal layer. This sure coal decreased internal gas pressure and decreased the
shows that the decrease in internal gas pressure caused by maximum power current of pushing. Secondly, –3 mm of

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Fig. 10. Effect of particle size of high coking pressure coal B on


internal gas pressure and maximum power current of
pushing in an actual coke oven chamber.

Fig. 11. An increase in the blending ratio of high coking pressure


coal B by the fine crushing of the coal.

Coal B was increased from 85% to 93%, and the blending


ratio of Coal B was increased from 6% to 10%. As shown
in Fig. 11, the fine crushing of high coking pressure coal
allowed for the blending of larger amounts of high coking
pressure coal without any influence on coke pushing perfor-
mance. Fig. 12. Changes in the blending ratio of high coking pressure coal
B, –3 mm % of blend coal, –0.3 mm % of blend coal, the
Based on the batch test result, a long-term test for the fine mass of charged coal in a coke oven chamber, maximum
crushing of high coking pressure coal was carried out in two power current of pushing and DI15015.
coke oven batteries with 184 chambers. The target of the
grain size of high coking pressure Coal B was –3 mm >90%
(the result was –3 mm 93–96%). The working rate of the
coke oven was 125%, the flue temperature at the top was
1 130°C, and the moisture of the charged coal was 4.0%.
The blending ratio of Coal B was increased from 6% to 10%
during the test period, as shown in Fig. 12. In order to main-
tain coke strength (DI15015), as the blending ratio of Coal B
increases, the blending ratio of the coal other than Coal B
was slightly adjusted in such a way that the weighted-
average of the volatile matter (VM), maximum fluidity (log
MF), and total dilatation (TD) was 26.1%, 2.1, and 66%,
respectively. As a result, coke strength (DI15015) was kept
nearly constant, as shown in Fig. 12. As shown in Fig. 13,
–3 mm% of the blended coal increased by increasing the Fig. 13. Relationship between the blending ratio of high coking
pressure coal B and –3 mm % of blend coal.
blending ratio of the finely crushed Coal B, while –0.3 mm%
of the blended coal increased by increasing –3 mm% of the
blended coal, as shown in Fig. 14. In addition, there had blended coal, as shown in Fig. 15. Moreover, there had been
been a concern that fine crushing might lead to a decrease another concern that fine crushing might lead to an increase
in charged coal bulk density; however, the amount of in carbon deposits on the coke oven chamber walls21) and
charged coal showed little change against –3 mm% of the thus would worsen coke pushing performance; however, the

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ISIJ International, Vol. 51 (2011), No. 9

Fig. 14. Relationship between –3 mm % and –0.3 mm % of blend


coal.

Fig. 15. Relationship between –3 mm % of blend coal and the mass


of charged coal in a coke oven chamber.

Fig. 17. Changes in –3 mm % of coal A, –0.3 mm % of coal A, the


mass of charged coal in a coke oven chamber, maximum
power current of pushing and DI.

2 coke oven batteries, 156 chambers in total, oven width


440 mm, length 15 800 mm, and height 5 925 mm). This
plant is equipped with three crushers, and each crusher has
six coal hoppers. One crusher was used only for crushing
high coking pressure Coal A, and Coal A was crushed finely
by increasing the rotation speed of the crusher. The working
rate of the coke oven was 121%, the flue temperature at the
top was 1 145°C, and the moisture of the charged coal was
Fig. 16. Relationship between the blending ratio of high coking 4.5%. The blending ratio of Coal A was kept constant at 4%
pressure coal B and maximum power current of pushing. during the test period. The grain size of high coking pressure
Coal A was changed from –3 mm 82% to –3 mm 96% step-
by-step, as shown in Fig. 17. The blend composition was
maximum power current of the pushing showed little kept nearly the same during the test period, and the weight-
change against the blending ratio of Coal B, as shown in ed-average of volatile matter (VM), maximum fluidity (log
Fig. 16. As described above, it was confirmed during the MF), and total dilatation (TD) were 27.2%, 1.8, and 41%,
long-term commercial-scale experiment that the fine crush- respectively. As shown in Fig. 18, the fine crushing of Coal
ing of high coking pressure coal allows for the blending of A increased –0.3 mm% of Coal A. Further, the amount of
larger amounts of high coking pressure coal without any charged coal showed little change against –3 mm% of Coal
influence on coke pushing performance. A, as shown in Fig. 19. As shown in Fig. 20, it was con-
firmed during the long-term commercial-scale experiment
3.2. Decreasing the Maximum Power Current of Coke that the fine crushing of high coking pressure coal decreased
Pushing by Fine Crushing High Coking Pressure the maximum power current of coke pushing.
Coal Despite these results, fine crushing may result in a
Furthermore, we tried the fine crushing of high coking decrease in charged coal bulk density, which can lead to a
pressure coal at the Oita cokemaking plant (No. 1 and No. decrease in productivity and the deterioration of coke

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ISIJ International, Vol. 51 (2011), No. 9

a method to treat an increase in fine particles caused by fine


crushing, the DAPS process13,14) is suitable since fine coal
particles are dry-classified and agglomerated during this
process.

4. Conclusions
In order to control and reduce coking pressure, we inves-
tigated the selective fine crushing of high coking pressure
coal.
(1) The fine crushing of high coking pressure coal
increases the permeability of the plastic coal layer, which
Fig. 18. Relationship between –3 mm % and –0.3 mm % of high decreases coking pressure (internal gas pressure).
coking pressure coal A.
(2) It was confirmed during a long-term commercial-
scale experiment that the fine crushing of high coking pres-
sure coal decreases coking pressure and decreases the
maximum power current of coke pushing.
It was proved both on a laboratory scale and on a com-
mercial scale that the selective fine crushing of high coking
pressure coal is a promising way to reduce coking pressure
and prolong coke oven life.

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