Steel in Translation

, Volume 47, Issue 8, pp 528–533 | Cite as

Natural-gas heating of cupola furnaces for more energy-efficient iron production

  • V. I. Matyukhin
  • Yu. G. Yaroshenko
  • A. V. Matyukhina
  • V. A. Dudko
  • S. E. Punenkov


Natural gas is employed to reduce coke consumption in cupola furnaces with an open or closed top. The usual approach here is combustion of the natural gas by means of burners in external chambers at the perimeter of the furnace housing. Depending on their design, the burners ensure partial or complete preliminary mixing of the gas and air, with an air excess of 1.2–1.5. Then the combustion products are sent directly to the batch bed. In this system, the coke consumption amounts to 8–9% of the metal charge, while the consumption of gaseous fuel is 30–40 m3/t of melt. In these conditions, the melt temperature rises slightly (by 10–20°C); the productivity is increased by 15–20%; and the harmful gas emissions (mainly CO) are reduced by 20–25%. The gas dynamics of the cupola furnace is periodically disrupted, with suspension of the batch bed, cooling of the melt produced, less complete chemical combustion, and damage to the furnace lining. When using this method, the gas–air mixture is supplied to the hot bed with an air excess no lower than 2.5–3.0. A high-temperature zone (1350–1380°C) of width 60–70 mm is formed and moves through the bed at a speed of 15–20 mm/min. This calls for uniform mixing of the gas and air, specific gas-dynamic conditions, and the creation of the required gas–air ratio, with an air excess of more than 2.5–3.0. If cold gas–air mixture is supplied to the furnace bed through a tuyere, the combustion zone divides the whole bed into two stages: the initial and final stages. The high temperature of the combustion zone ensures fast cooling of the material at ignition of the gas–air mixture. That prevents ignition in the space above the bed. The lack of direct contact between the high-temperature zone and the furnace’s working space improves the reliability and economic indices of this process (no heat losses). Bed combustion of natural gas in the heating of such cupola furnaces increases the productivity from 10 to 13.6 t/h (by 36%), with reduction in coke consumption by 80 kg/t (33.3%) and decrease in heat consumption by 25 kW (18.78%). The heat losses with the exhaust gases are reduced by 25.32 kW (16.2%). The total thermal efficiency of the system is increased from 35.58 to 42.26% (by 15.81%, rel.).


cupola furnace external combustion chambers coke–gas heating gas–air mixture combustion conditions solid fuel gaseous fuel fuel-combustion zones coke consumption productivity 


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© Allerton Press, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. I. Matyukhin
    • 1
  • Yu. G. Yaroshenko
    • 1
  • A. V. Matyukhina
    • 1
  • V. A. Dudko
    • 1
  • S. E. Punenkov
    • 2
  1. 1.Yeltsin Ural Federal UniversityYekaterinburgRussia
  2. 2.OAO UralasbestAsbestRussia

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