Primetals Technologies and thyssenkrupp have inked a cooperation agreement to bring the innovative Sequence Impulse Process (SIP) technology to market. Developed by thyssenkrupp AT.Pro tec, a company of thyssenkrupp Materials Services, SIP is well established for use in foundry cupola furnaces, and its underlying principles have been adapted and tailored to the blast furnace process. To prove the technology, thyssenkrupp Steel Europe has installed the first ever full system on their blast furnace #1 at Schwelgern, Duisburg in Germany.

Blast furnace operators can conventionally lower operating costs through injection of alternative fuels with the hot air blast (most commonly pulverized coal) in order to reduce the required coke rate in the burden. Additional oxygen enrichment is required to promote combustion for the added fuel. While improving Source: thyssenkrupp AGSource: thyssenkrupp AGprocess economics, this also results in a number of process and operational challenges. Combustion of the fuel localized in the raceway entry leads to higher heat loads on the shell and un-combusted material -- char -- can accumulate in the burden. This impedes gas flow and drainage, ultimately reducing the furnace's performance efficiency.

The patented SIP technology acts to repurpose the enrichment oxygen, and deliver a series of controlled, high-energy pulses, increasing local concentration in the raceway. The result is improved combustion and conversion of fuel, along with better gas distribution and drainage potential. Additionally, through higher penetration of the oxygen, the heat load generated is moved more to the central zone of the furnace. The small coke proportion in the burden can be increased without loss of permeability or increased overall pressure drop. These conditions permit an increase in the replacement of coke with injectant and higher production potential while avoiding deterioration of process conditions.

The total fuel rate can be lowered and, as a result, the added benefit of reduced carbon dioxide emission is achieved. The SIP technology therefore brings multiple advantages in terms of significant savings in overall operating costs and supports the blast furnace operators in their progress toward carbon neutrality.

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