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Types of fuel and their characteristics

Fuel oil preparation

Ranking of Coal
Analysis of coal
Combustion calculations
Coal preparation
Alternate fuels

Need & Importance of Fuel

As Clinkerisation process is an endothermic
( heat absorbing ) process it requires burning
of Suitable fuel.
Remember almost 40 % of the total cost spent for
Manufacturing cement is for Fuel and Power
The sp heat consumption of modern plants range
between 690 800 Kcal / kg clinker.
Pyro process requires burning of fuel at two
locations :
KILN - High grade heat - Critical area PC
- Low grade heat - Less critical area

Fuel Types and Their Chracteristics

Fuel oil
Fuel oil properties
Fuel oil preparation
Fuel oil atomization
Fuel oil burners
Coal Characteristics
Coal classification
Coal preparation
Utilizing special coal types
Components introduced with the fuel
Summary and Conclusion

Any fuel can be burnt in cement kiln

Flame temp high enough required for clinkerisation
Coal with high ash will give low flame temp

Types of Fuel
Fuel oil
Alternate Fuels

Oil is mainly used as start up fuel

Gas firing is very rare
Coal of Sub-bituminous category is mostly used
Saw dust , Used tyres and other wastes are also used

Fuel oil
Mainly used for startup in all the plants
Gas oil, LDO, Heavy fuel oil
Heavy fuel oil is the mainly used oil in Cement kiln as it is
comparatively cheaper
Fuel oil Composition ( % by weight)
85 % Carbon ; 11-17 % Hydrogen ; 1- 2 % Sulphur
Sulphur in HFO goes upto 5% and it is the major cause for
built ups in cylcones / riser ducts
Viscosity varies according to oil type and temp
A viscosity of 12-18 centistokes is required for satisfactory
atomisation of oil in most of the burners

Fuel oil Preparation

Heavy oil to be treated for
* Heating to constant temp & desired viscosity
* Pressure needed for atomization
* Proper flow to burner
* Proper oil spray angle
Preheating can be done using oil or electric heaters
Oil preheating temp limit : 110 Deg C, as it is the
flash point of heavy fuel oil
Interlock arrangement for oil flow to avoid explosion
problem for safety

Fuel oil preparation unit Typical

Fuel oil Atomization

Ensure proper preheating temp to achieve the
required viscosity for atomization
Optimum size of oil droplets is 80 100 microns
Too finer droplets will not mix with air well
Too coarser droplets will take more time to burn

Fuel oil Atomization

Effect of large oil droplets:
Takes more time to burn
Creates CO even at elevated temp
Has tendency to fall out of the flame and drop burning on charge
Reducing conditions will get created and product quality will get

Viscosity and Pressure needs to be controlled to control oil

droplet size

Fuel oil Flow regulation

Oil temperature , pressure and flow rate are monitored by
the burner station with alarms and tripping controls
Discharge nozzle orifice to be selected according to the
desired flow rate
With Fixed Orifice and Changing oil pressure
Oil pressure can be varied between 25 to 50 bar
Two channels (Axial & Radial) gives shape to flame
Increase in Radial(tangential) oil will give large spray angle and
wider flame with appropriate variation in primary air
To increase the oil spray rate both radial and axial pressure can be

Oil Temperature and pressure before the burner station to be

kept constant to avoid Disturbances in the oil atomisation and
oil flow rate

Fuel oil Flow regulation

With variable Orifice and Changing oil pressure
Adjustable needle valve principle for flow control

Displacing the needle changes the area of the nozzle( Ring

Spray angle of oil is adjusted separately by giving the oil
more or less rotation

Viscosity and Pressure needs to be controlled to control oil

droplet size

Fuel oil Burners

For heat economy choose burners with low
primary air
Burner should have high primary air
velocities and air pressure
To ensure good flame with oil go for flame
momentum 1200 to 1500 % m/sec
Optimum flame momentum is slightly
higher with oil than for coal firing

Pillard Burner

Spreader Regulation

Single Channel Oil Burner

Multi Channel Oil Burner

Coal Burner

Coal is originated from Plant derived organic remains
Coal is a fossil or organic sedimentary rock formed by the
action of temp, pressure on plant debris
Coal is associated with moisture and minerals
Coal is another form of carbon, as graphite or Diamond
but a complex mixture of organic chemical substances
containing carbon , hydrogen and oxygen .
Small quantity of Nitrogen, Oxygen and some non
organic minerals also present
Organic compounds constitutes more than 50% by weight

Coal Characteristics
Coal represents widest range of qualities
Compared to Oil and Gas, the Hydrogen in coal is fairely
As the coal becomes older, gas forming elements (H,N,O)
reduces and fixed carbon increases
Coal firing gives less dew point of flue gas
The difference between Gross and Net CV of Coal shall be
200 300 Kcal / kg only
C.V Coal depends on the contents of inert substance like
moisture and ash
For aged coals like Bituminous and Anthracite coals
increase of hydrocarbons ( Volatiles) will increase the C.V
For young coals, increase of Volatiles will decrease the C.V
due to presence of more of inactive O2 and N2 in the volatile

Coal Characteristics

Sulfur in coal is a vital factor for coating build up in

preheater. This will vary from 1 to 1.5% and may go as
high as 5%

European coal is moderate in Sulphur content(0.51.5 %)

Some British Coal has Chlorides as high as 1 % which

makes it unsuitable for Preheater kilns unless a kiln by
pass is installed

Major classes of coal are

- Anthracite
- Bituminous
- Lignitous

Properties and Types of Coals

Fuels and Firing systems: C.V / % Volatiles

Coal Classification
The Concept of rank
Rank is an Expression of the Fixed Carbon Content of the Coal
Fixed Carbon is the amount of Carbon left after treating the coal
to a specific temp say 925 or 950 Deg C
General Ranking is Peat , Lignite, Bituminous , and Anthracite
with corresponding Fixed Carbon contents increasing from
about 29% to about 95 %
Rank is an Important concept in all Coal classification

Coal Classification
The rank of coal implies.
Progressive increase in Fixed Carbon content
Progressive decrease of volatile content
Progressive decrease of the Hydrogen and Oxygen

Progressive increase of the Calorific value
At the end of the scale of coalification, the C.V tends to decrease
slightly because of the decrease of volatiles
Rank is not an Objective property to classify the coal- it
depends on the parameter chosen for ranking

Chemical composition and

Properties of Coal
Coal is chemically analysed based on
# Proximate analysis which gives the amount of
moisture, volatile matter, ash and fixed carbon in
# Ultimate analysis which gives the amount of
elements namely Carbon, Hydrogen, Oxygen and

Coal is also analysed for

* Calorific value
* Contents of alkalies and chloride
* Grindability, Abrasion and Safety Index
Coal ash is also analysed chemically which is
very vital for rawmix design
Results of chemical analysis are reported on airdried basis.The other basis are
As received basis
Dry basis
Dry, ash free basis

Moisture in Coal

Reduces calorific value

Hinders the ignition
Reduces the flame temperature
Slows down the rate of combustion
Increases the burn out time
Increases the flame envelope
Increases the risk of flame instability
Caking problem in fine coal bin and disturbed coal
Increases the specific heat consumption
Increases exhaust gas quantity and ID fan power

The moisture removed by air drying just above
the room temperature and determined by drying
of coal of a standard amount for 24 hours at 30
Moisture bound in the air dried sample and
determined by heating for some time at a
temperature above 100 degC
Sum of free moisture and hygroscopic moisture

Volatile Matter

Rough indicator of the combustivity of coal

Volatile matter is the hydro carbons present in the coal,
which evaporates first when a dried coal is heated
Higher VM leads to rapid oxidation and shorter flame
As the rank approaches anthracite, the ignition
temperature raises and ignition becomes difficult and
the volatile matter is lesser
A minimum of 22% is required for flame stability
VM is determined by heating the coal sample in a
special oven at 900 degC for 7 mins
VM = (The % loss of mass) - (% of total moisture)

Other factors affecting the combustivity are

Final temperature reached
Heating rate
Particle size
Residual coke reactivity




Combustion of volatiles

The residue left after combustion
Merely a inert diluent
Influenced by mainly chemical composition and
thermal properties
Ash differs in mass as well as composition
depending upon the mineral matter from which it
was formed.
Influences the reactivity of coal and lowering the
calorific value and delaying the ignition of coal
Affects the specific heat consumption and clinker
to rawmeal ratio in clinker production.


Ash is analysed for Loss On Ignition (LOI) and
main oxides of interest in cement industry
Very important factor for designing the rawmix
to arrive a particular clinker analysis
Alkalies, chlorides and sulphur in the coal ash
are also found out on the basis of their
concentration in coal sample

Higher sulfur content in coal leads to build ups
in kiln inlet and lower cyclone stages
Sulfur rich coating tend to form at points where
false air enters the kiln system or where high
turbulence occurs

In operation of the cement kiln, CV is the most
important quality of coal
Maximum theoretical amount of energy
available from a coal is calculated from CV
A high ash and moisture content decreases the
calorific value
value (GCV)

Latent Heat
of steam

value (NCV)

For low grade coals with high moisture, the

NCV will differ significantly from GCV

Factors affecting the Heat Value.

Reduces the heat value as it absorbs heat for
vaporisation and to reach the exhaust gas temp
Reduces the flame temp by cooling effect
Increases the specific heat consumption

High ash reduces the heat value and flame
Higher ash content delay the combustion
Reduction in clinker production

Volatile Matter
Increase in VM increases the reaction of fuel
Shorter flame and reduction in bloom length

Effect of C, H, N and O2
Higher the hydrogen content, higher will be the CV
* Net heat value of H2

= 28450 Kcals/ Kg of H 2

* Net heat value of Carbon =

8083 Kcals/ Kg of carbon

Nitrogen dilute the heat value of coal as it is the inert

O2 present reduces the air requirement
As the presence oxygen reduces the combustibles
proportion, it reduces the heat value

Theoretical Amount of air required

ATH = 11.59 C + 34.77 H + 4.348 (S - O) Kg/Kg of fuel

Quantity of Combustion Products in Kg/Kg fuel


3.666C+0.23 X N X ATH + N +0.77(n+1) ATH +

(W+9H) + 2S
- fraction of excess air over theoretically

C,W,H,N,S - weight fraction of carbon, water,

hydrogen, nitrogen and sulfur in fuel .

Involves both drying and grinding process

Control parameters will be the moisture
content and fineness

Important role in firing process and safer

operation of the coal mill plant
Higher the hygroscopic moisture in the
rawcoal, higher will be the residual
moisture in the fine coal

Total moisture Vs Residual Moisture

Important to achieve a complete combustion in

Kiln and Calciner
Calciner coal to be ground finer as the firing
temperature is lower
The optimal fineness is a function of volatile
matter as the burn out time for higher volatile
coal is lesser
Coal having a higher Hard groove index is
easier to grind and the power consumption for
grinding is more

Recommended fineness of Solid fuel 90 mic & 212 Mic

Use of Low Grade Coal.

Reduces the production cost

Reduces the additives consumption
Increases the required rawmeal LSF
Use of modern burner, blow the coal ash high up into the
kiln and thus ash coating around the clinker nodules is
Hot primary air, more fineness of coal will give a better
result in the usage of high ash coal
When the ash content increases, the specific heat
consumption increases due to the addition of ash (Cold)
instead of (Preheated) rawmeal
Preheater exhaust gas temperature as well as the specific
gas volume also increases when using the high ash coal

Coal Ash Vs LSF

Coal Ash Vs Specific Heat Consumption

Coal ash Vs Exhaust gas loss with a 4 stage PH Kiln

Other than the indigenous high ash coal, alternate fuels

used are
Imported coal
Natural gas
Pet coke
Rubber tyres
Rice husk
Natural gas comprised mainly methane (70-90 %) and
propane (0-20%) and the CV will be in the range of and
8000 - 9700 Kcals / m3

Petcoke is a solid residue, after extraction of all

valuable liquid and gaseous components
Petcoke is having high fixed carbon(>85%) and
calorific value (>8000) but low volatile matter and ash


Pet coke
Very less


The higher amount of sulfur present in pet coke (~5%)

increases in the circulation of volatiles (sulphur, chlorides
and alkalies
Sulfur in petcoke evaporates in sintering zone returning
with kiln exhaust gas and condense in lower areas of
preheater (750 - 1200 degC) and then returned to
burning zone which leads to
# Ring formation in kiln
# Increased build ups in riser duct
# Frequent blockages of the preheater cyclones
# Frequent kiln stoppages
# Reduced clinker production
# Poor refractory life and
# Less stable kiln operation

Routine monitoring of the total input of the volatile

components is needed
As the burn out time is more, the required fineness for
Calciner becomes as high as < 1% residue on 90mic
Increasing the O2 content will increase the total flow
and hence leads to more DP in preheater and more
power consumption of preheater fan
Most effective way to decrease the burnout time of pet
coke is by raising the combustion temperature
High combustion temperature can be achieved by
splitting the rawmeal feed into various flows and adding
them stepwise and thereby a high temperature zone is
created which ensures complete combustion of fuel

For firing in kiln, a residue on 90 mic screen of 0.75 times the

volatile will be sufficient as the combustion temperature is
Increasing the swirl air velocity and number of swirls will
improve the pet coke combustion in kiln
A higher secondary air temperature and flame momentum
will reduce the burnout time of petcoke in kiln
Higher fineness, using modern burners, higher flame
momentum and higher flame temperature reduce the
problem and increase the economical benefits
Petcoke and coal if ground separately and mixed for higher
fineness, will result in better combustion efficiency with low
CO formation and stable kiln condition compared to intergrinding due to their different grindability.

The different fineness requirements for kiln and

calciner firing, respectively can be produced by
one mill by installing an additional dynamic
separator in the mill circuit.

The extra separator divides the mill

product into a fine fraction for the kiln
and a very fine fraction for the Calciner.

Use of Anthracite Coal and Pet coke

Recommended fineness of Solid fuel Kiln & PC

C o m b u s tib le W a s te s
A g r ic u lt u r a l
W a s te s

I n d u s t r ia l
W a s te s

S y n t h e t ic
W a s te s

R ic e h u s k , B a m b o o d u s t
B agase, W ood dust
S tra w , P e a n u t h u s k
C oconut husk

C a r b o n s lu d g e fr o m
fe r t ilis e r p la n t ,
P e t r o c h e m ic a l w a s t e
w a s t e o ils

R u b b e r w a s te ,
P la s t ic w a s t e ,
C a rd b o a rd ,
G r a p h it e d u s t

Factors for Evaluation of

Combustible Wastes.

Availability and cost

Characteristics e.g. moisture, ash content, VM, CV
Present mode of disposal
Drying and grinding characteristics
Storage, handling, feeding and firing system
Ignition and combustion aspects
Effects on kiln operation & refractory
Impact on clinker quality
Environment and social considerations
Economic viability etc.

Impact on Kiln Operation and

Use of rice husk and bamboo dust reduces
the ash dilution of clinker
But in kiln firing, it affects the flame shape
and temperature due to their low CV and
high ash
Increase in the proportion of rice husk
increases the CaO content of the potential
clinker and thus the C3S / C2S ratio.

Tyre Feeding and Firing

Shredded tyre having a size of upto 50mm can be fed
to PC through a double tippling valve if the velocity
varies from 15 to 20 m/s and a size of 30mm can be fed
if the velocity is in the range of 6-10 m/s
A maximum of 25% of total heat consumption can be
fed to the precalcinator
Shredded tyre can be fed to kiln along with fine coal
might lead to
# dropping of tyre pieces on the clinker bed
# reducing burning condition
# dusty clinker formation
Tyre contains around 1.5% Zinc, which results in
increased setting time of cement

Feeding to PC offers advantages of

Flexibility of varying the proportion
Proper mixing with tertiary air
Quick and uniform burning
Reduction in coal consumption
Poor availability of agricultural and industrial wasted on
sustained basis
Non-availability of organised sectors for collection and
distribution of combustible wastes
Availability of agricultural waste is seasonal
Due to the lower density, a large storage facility is required
Landed cost becomes high due to high transportation cost
Handling cost is also more