You are on page 1of 8

Alternate Fuels in Blast Furnaces to Reduce Coke Consumption

R Jaffarullah, Non-member
B K Ghosh, Non-member
Blast furnace continues to be principal producer of iron even today due to its size, techno-economics, energy utilisation and quality
of hot metal, when compared to other emerging technologies of iron production. Coke forms a major portion (more than 60%)
of the cost of hot metal and sources of metallurgical coal are limited. The recent crisis of imported coal availability and their cost
increase have forced all the Indian ironmakers to think in terms of coke economy and its partial replacement by alternate fuel.
The paper describes in detail technological considerations such as role of auxiliary fuel, cooling characteristics and thermal
compensation of potential injectants and replacement ratio. The significance of indirect and direct reduction of wustite and
principles of coke economy achieved by auxiliary fuel injection with respect to C-rd diagram have been analysed. The suitability
of injection technology to Indian condition and the status of established auxiliary fuel injection technology through tuyeres, such
as, coal dust injection, natural gas injection, fuel oil injection, coal tar injection and plastic injection have also been discussed in

Keywords : Blast furnaces; Coke consumption; Alternate fuels; Replacement ratio; C-rd diagrams

INTRODUCTION increased productivity, stable and smooth furnace operation.

In this paper, different established technologies of auxiliary
Blast furnace continues to be the principal producer of tonnage
fuel injection and their theoretical consideration for injection
iron at competitive cost and acceptable quality even after
have been reviewed.
emergence of a number of alternate methods for production
of iron. However, the blast furnace process is handicapped BLAST FURNACE PROCESS AND ROLE
by its dependence on good quality coke which is in short OF COKE
supply all over the world with regular increase in cost. The As a result of Japanese dissection studies1 of quenched blast
cost structure of hot metal indicates that over 60% of its furnaces in the early 1970’s, the inner state of blast furnaces
cost is due to coke only. was revealed, which is schematically represented in Figure 1.
Ironmaking in India is not self sufficient with respect to The most significant outcome of the studies was the evidence
availability of good quality coking coals and has to depend of the existence of cohesive zone (softening-melting zone)
on imports to a large extent. The recent crisis in availability with alternate layers of coke, fused slag and iron, which plays
of imported coals and the increase in their cost have forced an important role in blast furnace aerodynamics and
all the Indian ironmakers to think in terms of coke economy distribution of gases in the furnace.
and alternate auxiliary fuel for blast furnaces. The four important primary functions that are fulfilled by
The auxiliary fuels, such as, coal, natural gas, oil and other coke in blast furnace are2:
carbonaceous materials used globally, for injection into blast (i) It supplies heat in accordance with the reaction
furnaces, is driven primarily by: 2C + O2 → 2 CO + 53 450 kcal
- Economic factors, especially the benefits derived from (ii) It supplies reducing gas for the reduction of iron oxides.
reducing the consumption of expensive coals for coke (iii) It provides permeability and mechanical support to
making the burden.
- Avoiding major expenditure on renovation / (iv) It carburises the iron and causes high temperature
revamping of existing coke batteries and reduction of metalloids such as SiO2, MnO and P2O5.
- Reducing the overall emissions from the steel plant. TECHNOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS FOR
From a blast furnace perspective, the use of auxiliary fuels AUXILIARY FUEL INJECTION
decrease the overall cost of production of hot metal through Role of Auxiliary Fuel
R Jaffarullah is with and B K Ghosh was with R & D Centre for The primary functions of auxiliary fuel in blast furnace are :
Iron & Steel, SAIL, Ranchi 834 002
(a) Substitution of auxiliary fuel carbon for coke as
This paper received the Dr M Visvesvaraya Award for the year 2004-2005. reductant,

16 IE(I) Journal-MM
(b) Substitution of auxiliary fuel hydrogen for coke as a
reductant, and
(c) Alteration of thermal balances in the raceway, hearth
and reduction zones.
P rob e s
Cooling Characteristics of Auxiliary Fuel and
Thermal Compensation
The use of auxiliary fuels is well-established practice in blast
G ra n ular
Zone furnace technology. It decreases the coke consumption and
provides endothermic reactions on decomposition, which
are used to control the tuyere Raceway Adiabatic Flame
C o h esive
Temperature (RAFT). The auxiliary fuels, generally considered
Zone for blast furnace injection, are all inferior to coke as heat
producer in the furnace4.

D rip p in g
The factors responsible are:
– Fuel injected is usually at or slightly above, the ambient
temperature and is therefore much cooler than
R acew ay
preheated coke at raceway (around 1500oC).
D e a dm a n
– Auxiliary fuel consumes an appreciable quantity of heat
for dissociation of organic C-H, C-O and C-S bonds
of the auxiliary fuel, and
– Only the carbon content of the fuel is a source of heat
at the tuyeres.
Figure 1 Zones in the blast furnace
The amount of reducer and heat produced from 1 kg of
Table 1 Properties of coke and auxiliary fuels
auxiliary fuel is different from that obtained from 1 kg of
Parameter O2 in Coke Heavy Natural
blast, % fuel Oil gas ** coke. Bogdandy 5 has carried out calculations for some
Chemical Composition gaseous, liquid and solid injectants, which is reproduced in
C, % 87.0 84.0 — Tables 1 and 2. The tuyere gas formed during gasification of
Ash, % 10.0 0.5 — auxiliary fuels contains more concentration of reducer (CO
S, % 1.0 2.5 —
H, % 0.4 12.0 —
+ H2) than the gas formed from coke. Also the concentration
O, % 0.6 0.5 — of H2 is higher. Hydrogen is a more powerful reducing agent
N, % 1.0 0.5 — than CO as well as its presence in the tuyere gas gives advantage
CH4, % — — ≈ 100 with respect to heat transfer and aerodynamics.
Calorific value, kcal/kg 6900 – 9600 – 8580
7200cc 9800 c The change in the RAFT relative to the amount of fuel injected
Wind required to 21 3.84 3.71 2.38 is used to assess the relative cooling effects of each injectants
transform into CO and H2 22 3.67 3.54 2.27 (Table 3). Natural gas has the greatest cooling effect on the
Nm3/kg or Nm3/Nm3 ** 23 3.51 3.39 2.17
raceway, followed by fuel oil, coal tar, high volatile coal and
Table 2 Blast requirement, tuyere gas volume and composition with a blast humidity of 10 g/Nm3 and ash content of coal: 6% dry
Coal characteristic
Anthracite 19% VM 28% VM 35% VM Lignite
Blast requirement, Nm3/kg 3.78 3.53 3.44 3.32 2.01
Tuyere gas volume, Nm3/kg 5.19 5.08 5.02 4.83 3.49
Tuyere gas composition:
CO, % 33.10 32.70 32.20 32.30 36.50
H2, % 9.00 12.20 13.40 14.80 17.80
N2, % 57.00 55.10 54.40 52.90 45.70
Note : VM = Volatile Matter

Vol 86, April 2005 17

Table 3 Effect of various injectant in blast furnace conditions Table 4 Change in RAFT and replacement ratio with different coals
Change in flame Change in kg injected/100K Replacement
Type of auxiliary Coal type C/H C/O
Injection rate temperature coke rate, change in RAFT ratio
(RAFT), °C kg/thm
Anthracite 43.7 44.2 122 0.99
Natural gas 100 kg/thm - 513 - 82.6
LV bituminous 18.9 29.5 100 0.90
(132 Nm3/thm)
MV bituminous 13.7 12.7 86 0.86
Anthracite coal 100 kg/thm - 162 - 91.0
HV bituminous 15.6 5.5 67 0.72
High volatile coal 100 kg/thm - 218 - 76.1
Sub-bituminous 16.0 3.6 65 0.54
Heavy fuel oil 100 kg/thm - 321 - 98.1
Lignite 15.0 2.8 58 0.50
anthracite coal. Lower cooling from a fuel permits larger Note : LV = Low Volatile; MV = Medium Volatile; HV = High Volatile
quantity to be injected.
(FeO) only is important because of its low equilibrium CO –
In order to balance the endothermic effect of tuyere injection
utilisation or high equilibrium CO/CO2 ratio2. The reduction
and maintain a preset RAFT, either hot blast temperature
(HBT) or oxygen enrichment can be increased or blast of FeO takes place by two reactions, namely,
humidity reduced. (i) Indirect reduction — taking place at temperature below
Coke Replacement Ratio 1000oC

The choice of auxiliary fuel for injection does significantly FeO + nCO = Fe + CO2 + (n – 1) CO + 3250 kcal
alter the cost benefit that can be obtained by the injection. (ii) Direct reduction — taking place at temperature above
The primary factor that influences the cost benefit of any 1000oC
injection technology is the amount of coke that can be
replaced by the injected auxiliary fuel. FeO + CO = Fe + CO2

Replacement ratio (RR) is the ratio of kg coke saved per ton CO2 + C = 2CO (solution loss reaction)
of hot metal (thm) to the kg/Nm3 of auxiliary fuel injected Adding FeO + C = Fe + CO – 36,500 kcal.
per thm2.
These two reactions are diametrically opposite in their thermal
The replacement ratio normally quoted in the literature is the effect and reducer requirement. Indirect reduction is slightly
metallurgically corrected coke rate where the coke rate is exothermic with large reducer requirement (n = 3 to 4)
corrected for furnace parameters, such as hot metal silicon because of equilibrium consideration, whereas direct
content and blast temperature to give coke rate under reduction is highly endothermic but requires only one mole
standard condition. of carbon for reducing one mole of FeO. Therefore, it is
Hoogovens, a leading coal injector has developed the two apparent that a compromise between the two reactions will
formulae to determine the replacement ratio of a coal based give the optimum carbon consumption for reduction of a
on its carbon (C), hydrogen (H) and ash contents: mole of FeO to Fe.
RR = [%C(dry basis) + (2H% (dry basis)/0.903)] / 100 C-rd Diagram
RR = (– 118.9 + 2.3C + 4.5H + 0.97 ash) / 100 If the carbon rate per ton of hot metal (thm), as dictated
Russians has developed replacement ratio formulas for separately by thermal and chemical requirements, is plotted
gaseous, and solid or liquid fuel using the ratio of enthalpies against the degree of direct reduction, rd = FeOD/ FeOT
of auxiliary fuel and coke. (ratio of FeO reduced directly to the total FeO per thm), a
plot known as C-rd diagram (Figure 2) is obtained. The point
Actual replacement ratios achieved in blast furnace operation of intersection of the two lines at which both the thermal
with low to moderate injection rates tend to be slightly higher and chemical requirements are satisfied, gives the optimum
due to reduced heat losses (in view of increased productivity) degree of direct reduction (rdopt) and corresponding carbon
and some increase in reduction efficiency. But, at higher rates
rate is the optimum carbon rate (Copt).
of injection, heat loss can increase which may lead to lowering
of replacements than theoretical. Table 4 shows the changes The chemical requirement line shown in the C-rd diagram
in RAFT and replacement ratio achieved with different coals. corresponds to attainment of Fe-O-C equilibrium in the top
zone (stack). In case of departure from equilibrium due to
poor reducibility or kinetics caused by poor gas-solid contact
Indirect and Direct Reduction of Iron Oxide condition, high velocity of gas etc., the line will shift upwards.
In blast furnace fuel calculations, the reduction of wustite The thermal requirement line will shift upwards if either the

18 IE(I) Journal-MM
T h e rm a l
T h e rm a l R eq u ire m e nt R e q uire m en t
O o pr
C o pr
O o pt O´
C to b e B u rnt a t C2 O
C o pt
T u y ere s C1
uy e re s
at T
e B u rn t m e n t
to b R eq u ir e
s a ry A
C R ate, k g/th m

N ec e s T he rm a C h e m ic a l A´ C h e m ic a l
C eet

C R ate, k g /th m
to M R e q uire m en t R e q uire m en t
C R e qu ire d fo r D ire ct R e d uc tion

C R e qu ire d fo r M e ta llo id R ed u c tio n

[C ] fo r S olution in H ot M e ta l rd 2 rd 1

rd o pt rd o pr rd , %

rd , %
Figure 3(a) Effect of auxiliary fuel injection without thermal
Figure 2 C-rd diagram

thermal requirements of bottom zone go up or if HBT goes T h e rm a l R e q u ire m en t

down. Therefore, more carbon has to be burnt to meet the (B a se a n d w ith O 2 E n ric h m e nt)

thermal demand of the process. Due to poor raw material

characteristics and their improper distribution in the stack,
the chemical equilibrium is usually not attained. Hence, indirect C1 O ´´ In c rea se in H B T o r
reduction is achieved to a lesser degree and consequently the C3
O´ D e c re ase in B la st M o istu re

degree of direct reduction is always greater than rdopt. The

C R ate, k g/th m

furnace works at a point Oopr corresponding to a degree of A´´ A A´

C h e m ic al
direct reduction rdopr (greater than rdopt) and carbon rate Copr R e q uire m e n t
(greater than Copt). The distance Oopt minus Oopr, thus gives
the departure from equilibrium.
rd 2 rd 1
Effect in C-rd Diagram for Injection Without Thermal
Compensation rd , %
Figure 3(b) Effect of auxiliary fuel injection with thermal
Due to auxiliary fuel injection, the following modifications compensation
will have to be incorporated in C-rd diagram:
tuyere gases resulting in shifting of thermal requirement line
– Each kg of carbon in injection case will represent the upwards. Such an operation can be allowed to the extent that
carbon from coke and carbon from injectant in the flame temperature does not drop below the minimum flame
proportion dictated by the amount of injectant and its temperature, which is required for maintaining adequate heat
composition. exchange condition in the bottom zone. Hence, coke savings
– This carbon will yield lesser heat in the bottom zone will be poor as well as production will start falling beyond
but at the same time more reducer in the top zone as the point when O´A´ exceeds OA due to an increase in carbon
compared to carbon of coke. to be burnt per thm.
Therefore, the thermal requirement line will shift upwards Effect in C-rd Diagram for Injection with Thermal
and the chemical line will shift downwards [Figure 3(a)]. Compensation
Figure 3(a) shows that as a result of injection, the degree of In practice, injection is usually done with adequate thermal
direct reduction decreases from rd1 to rd2, while the carbon compensation. This compensation is provided either through
rate goes up from C1 to C2. The carbon rate C2 minus the an increase in HBT, or a decrease in blast moisture content,
carbon (C) from injectant will then correspond to the coke or an increase in oxygen content of the blast, or a combination
rate with injection. In this case, the injection may not give of these. The popular criteria for such compensation is that
energy saving, the total carbon rate has gone up from C1 to RAFT should be maintained same with injection as in the
C2 because the injection was done without compensation for base practice to ensure smooth running of the furnace.
the endothermic effect of injection on flame temperature of Figure 3(b) shows an increase in HBT or a decrease in blast

Vol 86, April 2005 19

moisture are almost equivalent and bring down the thermal through a 200 mesh screen, is practiced on larger scale, all
requirement line. The degree of direct reduction may increase over the world (more than 170 installations worldwide).
or decrease depending upon composition of the injectant
GCI, defined as the injection of coal of size only 10%-30%
but mainly carbon rate goes down by a considerable extent.
of the particles passing through a 200 mesh screen, requires
Thus, a good coke economy can be expected. Also, the
about 60% less energy in grinding than in pulverisation. GCI
productivity can substantially increase due to a decrease in
is practiced in smaller scale compared to PCI.
carbon to be burnt per thm (O´A´ is less than OA).
The systems and technologies available for coal injection are
With oxygen enrichment, the thermal requirement line does
proprietary in nature, and therefore, these technologies are
not change its position because oxygen does not bring any
identified by their supplier names. For selection of suitable
enthalpy. The carbon rate decreases from C1 to C2 only due
CDI technology, the most commonly used parameters are:
to lowering of the chemical requirement line. The coke
economy would obviously be less than that in case of – Individual tuyere control system
increased hot blast temperature or decreased blast moisture. – Common control system with a distributor for even
Therefore, the coke economy by auxiliary fuel injection is mainly distribution
obtained on account of heat and reducer supplied by the injectant. – Mode of conveyance, ie, thin or dense phase
However, it has been found that some additional economy is
– Types of distributor, ie, static (no moving parts) or
also obtained as a result of improvements, which are brought
dynamic (having moving parts)
by injection such as improvement in reduction condition in the
stack zone resulting from increased concentration of reducing Figure 4 shows a typical flow diagram of the coal injection
gases and more ore/coke ratio in the charge. system. It consists of three main sections, namely:
VARIOUS AUXILIARY FUEL INJECTION (a) Raw material receiving and storage
TECHNOLOGY (b) Coal drying and grinding
Coal Dust Injection (CDI) (c) Coal injection proper
Status of CDI Future Challenges of CDI Technology
Coal injection is the most developed and well-established For the success of coal injection, it is necessary to inject
technology for auxiliary fuel injection in a blast furnace. This maximum amount of coal with the highest possible
is due to abundant availability of coal for injection, uniform replacement ratio, without affecting the blast furnace
global distribution and coal, in association with oxygen productivity and hot metal quality. This necessitates proper
enrichment of blast, can replace a large quantity of coke and coal selection so as to ensure simultaneous maximisation of
increase blast furnace productivity. injection rates and replacement ratio.
At present in India, coal injection of moderate rate is being The suitability of a coal for injection is essentially dictated by
practiced in three blast furnaces of Tata Steel and two blast the factors7:
furnaces of Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL) Plants.
New facilities with higher rate of injections are being installed. (i) better combustibility of coal
(ii) ash characteristics of coal, which should be such that
A coal injection rate of 180 kg/thm - 200 kg/thm has been
no deposition takes place in the injection lance and
achieved replacing more than 40% of coke requirement in
blast furnace and a few blast furnaces have demonstrated
successfully an injection rate of 250 kg/thm - 300 kg/thm. (iii) low ash content to achieve a high replacement ratio.
The coke replacement ratio of a coal is dependent on the (iv) cooling effect of the injected coal in the raceway should
energy or carbon content of coal, with low volatile coals be such that the blast parameters can be adjusted within
having the higher coke replacement ratio. practical limits to maintain an optimal flame
CDI System temperature (RAFT).
There are two types of coal injection in blast furnace: Table 5 shows the quality of coals used for blast furnace
injection in selected steel plants globally.
(a) pulverised coal injection (PCI)
Apart from availability of reliable coal preparation and
(b) granular coal injection (GCI)
injection equipment and suitable coal for injection, the
PCI, defined as the injection of coal of size 70%-80% passing following measures has to be carried out for achieving high

20 IE(I) Journal-MM
M ate ria l R ec e iv in g S e c tio n D ry in g a nd G rind in g S ec tion In je c tio n S e c tion
F la m e F ro n t E qp t

B last
F urn a c e
B ag F ilte r
L a n c es (1 8/2 0 N o s)

H ig h R ise R a w C oa l
C o n ve y or S ilo
S cre w C o nv e yo r
6 0 t/h 3 50 m 3

C oal
D istrib utor
F ine C o al
S ilo
1 00 0 m 3
D rag C h air
C o nv eyo r

G ro u nd
H o pp e r
M agn etic B a ll
S ep arato r M ill To
2 1.25 t/h C h im n e y

B e lt F e e d e r 6 0 t/h ID
F an S cre e n s
R e c irc u la tio n In je c tio n 15 m 3 15 m 3
G a se s Ve sse ls

C O /B F G a s
H ot G as
A ir
G e n era tor D o sin g
N itrog e n Va lv e s
H o t G a s from S to ve s
N itrog e n fo r C o o lin g

Figure 4 Flow diagram of the coal dust injection

Table 5 Quality of coals used for blast furnace injection in selected steel plants globally
Coal characteristics
Location Coal type H2O, % Ash, VM, % S, % CV, Size, HGI ratio
% Mj/kg % <µm
Arbed, Esch-Belval Lignite 10-12 4 50 0.5 22 70<74 — —
Lignite 11 4 44 — 21 70<90 — 0.54
LV bituminous 1 14 12 — 30 90<90 — 0.81
Usinor/ Sollca, Dunkirk LV bituminous — 12-13 11-12 1.3 30 — 68 0.84
British Steel, HV bituminous 2 4 31 1.5 — 89<2 mm — 0.90
Scunthorpe HV bituminous 1.4 10 22 0.4 — 97<2 mm — 0.91
SocHF Reunis, Uckange HV bituminous 1.2 7 35 — 31 67<80 — Variable
VEB, Maxhutte Lignite 6.8 14 51 3.5 22 90<200 — 0.55
Hoogovens, IJmuiden LV, MV & HV bituminous 0.7-5 4-11 18-39 0.5-1.1 — 80<75 45-100 0.79-0.98
2-9 6-8 32-35 0.7-1.4 — — — 0.93-1.02
Stanton HV bituminous anthracite
1 9 7 0.8 — 100<1.7mm — 1.01
Blend: HV bituminous + 1 8 20 1 — 80<90 — 0.86
Thyssen Stahl, Hamborn etc.
ILVA, Taranto HV bituminous 1 8 26 — — 80<90 — 0.83
Various blends of HV — 7-10 22-40 0.3-1.0 — 80<74 — —
SSAB, Lulea
bituminous + petcoke
Sidmar, Ghent MV &HV bituminous 1 7-14 23-37 0.4-0.6 28-33 90<90 — —
Armco Ashland HV bituminous 5 4.6 38 0.7 — 78<74 — 1.1
Note : LV = Low Volatile; MV = Medium Volatile; HV = High Volatile; CV = Calorific Value; HGI = Hardgrove Grindability Index

Vol 86, April 2005 21

coal injection rate exceeding 200 kg/thm on a regular basis; Table 6 Comparison of furnace performance with and without natural gas
injection for Armco Steel
– Improvement in burden quality (coke and sinter) Without With
injection injection
– Better burden distribution control, and
Production rate, t/ day 4309 4724
– Intensive research in various aspects of coal Wind rate, Nm3/thm 1097 935
combustion. Natural gas injection rate, kg/thm — 87.5
Natural Gas Injection Oxygen consumption, kg/thm 22.25 92.6
Coke rate, kg/thm 457 343
Natural gas is primarily a methane based hydrocarbon whose Energy released at hearth, Gcal/thm 0.554 0.454
physical and thermal properties are : Hearth gas temperature, °C 1832 1633
CH4, % : 85 – 95 Top gas temperature, °C 73 176
Top gas CO/CO2 ratio 1.10 1.08
C2H6, % : 0.5 – 4
Top gas H2/H2O ratio 2.31 1.25
C3H8, % : 0.1 – 2 Solution loss reaction, kg/thm 80.64 48.48
C4H10, % : 0.1 – 1 Source : Charles Associates, 1992

C5H12, % : 0.1 – 1
of lower gas density (bosh gas) due to high hydrogen
CO2, % : 0.5 – 5 concentration and the decrease in nitrogen concentration of
H2S : traces the blast furnace stack gases. Natural gas requires higher oxygen
enrichment than other fuel injection.
Calorific Value, kcal/Nm3 : 8540 – 9150
Coal Tar Injection
Natural gas is being widely used in blast furnaces of CIS
countries, the USA and Europe because of its easy availability, Coal tar is a byproduct generated during the coke oven
low cost, high heat value, ease of handling and environment operation in a steel plant. Depending upon the market
friendly nature. Natural gas injection does not introduce any condition, tar could be an alternate fuel for injection in blast
slag forming constituents and, therefore, the net heat obtained furnace. Tata Steel has pioneered coal tar injection in India
is substantially higher per unit weight of injected gas. and it is being practiced in their four blast furnaces at present.
Maximum natural gas injection rate is limited to around 100 SAIL has also started tar injection in one of their blast furnace
kg/thm due to blast furnace operational problems. Normally, and has planned in some blast furnaces in near future.
natural gas injection is carried out in conjunction with increase A typical coal tar analysis is9 :
in hot blast temperature and oxygen enrichment of the blast
C, % : 89.5
to compensate decrease in RAFT and to increase the coke
replacement ratio8. H2, % : 5.0
S, % : 0.3
Recent discovery of large reserves of natural gas in the coastal
region of India has brightened the prospects of natural gas Ash, % : 0.5
injection in blast furnaces in India. Capital investment in natural Quinolene insoluble, % : 1–5
gas equipment would be less as compared to coal dust Toluene insoluble, % : 5 – 10
injection. Coal bed methane gas, a variant of natural gas has
Moisture, % : 3–4
also been discovered in huge quantity near West Bengal -
Jharkhand coal belt. This promises to be an attractive Specific gravity : 1.18 – 1.20
proposition for injection in blast furnaces existing nearer to Calorific Value, kcal/kg : 8600
the location of gas reserves. Published data indicate a replacement ratio of around 1.35
Table 6 shows the comparison of blast furnace performance and productivity improvement of more than 4% for an
with and without natural gas injection for Armco Steel. Use injection rate of around 40 kg/thm9. Figure 5 shows a typical
of natural gas in blast furnace introduces significant amount flow diagram of tar injection system. The main sections of
of hydrogen in the bosh gas. The presence of hydrogen in tar injection system are :
the bosh gas reduces coke consumption by decreasing the l Coal tar storage, pumping and heating system
extent of the solution loss reaction and thermal energy
requirement associated with the endothermic effect of l Coal tar ring main and supply
solution loss reaction3. The productivity will increase because l Coal tar distribution and injection system

22 IE(I) Journal-MM
Ta r Tan k P um p H o u se Ta r H e a te rs To overcome the availability of imported coal and to reduce
the hot metal cost, Indian ironmakers has to incorporate suitable
R e tu rn L ine auxiliary fuel injections in priority basis in all of their blast furnaces
Ta r C o o le r
by doing in-depth study of techno-economics, auxiliary fuel
D istrib utor fo r S te a m availability and feasibility of suitable injection technology.
P urging S tea m
Ta r to
Auxiliary fuel injection technology has come to stay as an
In dividu a l important part of modern ironmaking technology. Due to
T u y ere D istrib utor fo r F low M ea su re m en t Ta r to B F availability of large varieties of coal for injection, higher
Ta r a nd C on tro l injection rate and lower temperature compensation required
compared to other fuels; coal injection will be better suitable
Figure 5 Flow diagram of coal tar injection system for Indian blast furnaces.
The critical parameter for tar injection is the viscosity, which Natural gas and coal bed methane might be suitable for those
is dependent on its temperature. Proper temperature has to plants situated nearer to those production fields. Depending
be maintained for better flowability and atomization of tar upon the availability and techno-economics coal tar injection
in raceway. Maximum injection rate is limited by tar handling will be suitable for some blast furnaces. Plastic injection could
and transportation problems. be adopted because of its huge potential in coke saving and
Fuel Oil Injection environmental protection.
Lastly, more research has to be carried out for adoption and
During the 1950’s, oil was the preferred injectant due to its low
maximising of the injection rates of auxiliary fuel for our
price relative to natural gas and coal. After oil price shocks of
Indian condition.
the 1970’s, renewed interest in oil injection has started in Europe.
Oil injection levels upto 150 kg/thm have been practiced in ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
the last few years with good economic results. Technically, oil Authors are thankful to the Management of R & D Centre for
injection occupies intermediate level between gas injection and Iron & Steel, SAIL, Ranchi for granting permission to publish
coal injection as regards the temperature compensation this paper. Authors are also thankful to the colleagues of their
requirement2. Oil produces large amount of reducing agents department for providing support in preparation of this article.
as well as heat at tuyere, leading to better economics. Oil injection
equipment is similar to tar injection facilities.
1. K Kanbara, T Hagiwara, A Shigemi, S Kendo, Y Kanayama, K
Major limitation and important consideration in oil injection Wakabayashi and N Hiramoto. ‘Dissection of Blast Furnaces and Their
practice is the sulphur level of the fuel. At BHP, New Castle, Internal State.’ Trans ISIJ, vol 17, 1977, pp 371-390.
the maximum sulphur content in oil specification is 2.5%. 2. A K Biswas. ‘Principles of Blast Furnace Ironmaking.’ Cootha Publishing,
Any variation in oil sulphur level will affect coke and limestone Brisbane, Australia, 1981, pp 375-425.
consumption. At New Castle, a coke replacement ratio of
3. J C Agarwal, F C Brown, D L Chin, A R Frydenlun, N S Jessiman, A P
around 1.5 and productivity increase of around 1.4 thm / t
Lingras and S J Sikirica. ‘The Role of Oxygen-plus-fuel Injection in
of oil injection has been reported. Increasing the Productivity of the Blast Furnace.’ Ironmaking Conference
Plastic Injection Proceedings, 1992, pp 139-147.
4. R Athappan, U N Mishra, B Thakur and S R Mediratta. ‘Auxilliary Fuel
Plastic injection of around 30 000 t/year is being practiced in
Injection: An Energy Alternative for Economic Blast Furnace Practice at
Keihin works of NKK Corporation, Japan10. The granulated
VISL, Bhadravati.’ Steel India, vol 18, no 2, October 1995, pp 65-70.
or pelletised plastic replaces an equal amount of coking coal.
5. L Von Bogdandy and H J Engell. ‘The Reduction of Iron Ore.’ Springer-
The only hurdles faced by NKK are limited collection network
Verlag, Berlin, 1971, pp 454-456.
of waste plastic and non-availability of adequate storage facilities.
6. B P Dovgalyuk. ‘Methods of Monitoring Effectiveness of Using Auxiliary
As per NKK, upto 40% of the coking coal can be replaced Fuels and Process Oxygen and Their Optimum Distribution Among Blast
by recycled plastic in a blast furnace. However, polyvinyl plastic Furnaces.’ Steel in the USSR, vol 17, August 1987, pp 348-350.
(PVC) accounting for about 15% of Japan’s waste plastic 7. R N Singh. ‘Coal Injection in Blast Furnace – An Overview.’ Steel India,
emits corrosive chlorine gas during combustion and was found vol 24, no 1, April 2001, pp 1-14.
unsuitable for injection in blast furnace. 8. J C Agarwal, F C Brown, D L Chin, G S Stevans, F C Gansbil, J R
In India a large amount of waste plastic are generated from Wandling, R K Clark and D M Smith. ‘Production Increase with High
industrial and municipal sources whose disposal is causing a Rates of Natural Gas Injection at ACME Steel and National Steel’s Granite
great environmental hazard. Adoption of this technology in City Division.’ Ironmaking Conference Proceedings, 1996, pp 107-114.
India has to be seriously explored and research for its use has 9. Ashok Kumar, A Ahmed and L M Chaterjee. ‘Coal Tar Injection in ‘A’
to be taken for achieving benefits in coke consumption at and ‘B’ Blast Furnaces at Tata Steel.’ Tata Search, 1997, p 109.
blast furnace and environmental protection. 10. T Furukawa. ‘Plastic as Ironmaking Fuel at NKK.’ New Steel, May 1998.

Vol 86, April 2005 23