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Compact regenerative burners in energy intensive furnaces INTENSIVE FURNACES

Research was carried out in order to optimize the energy consumption and the nitrogen oxide emission level from the annealing furnaces of a cold rolling mill for stainless steel in the Acciai Speciali Terni Works. It basically consists of the industrial demonstration of a new gas firing technique with a new compact gas burner, incorporating a very efficient air regenerator.

A new furnace incorporating 50 burners of 200 kW each was installed during Christmas 1996 downtime. Operation and production resumed in January 1997. Commissioning was completed by mid April 1997. The annealing line processes a whole range of stainless grades, each grade requiring a different operating cycle. Preliminary estimates of specific gas consumption are below 30 Nm{3}/t steel well below the 35 Nm{3}/t steel originally targeted in the Thermie project. The expected energy savings from the project have been estimated to be 2.2 M Nm{3} of natural gas per year, based on 4200 h/y and a production of 66000 t/y of stainless steel to be annealed; this corresponds to a reduction of 4400 t/y of carbon dioxide emissions. These figures are proportional to the annual operating hours of the annealing furnace, which is considerably less than the total operating time of the line, that includes pickling baths downstream of the furnace (a proportion of the steel grades is not annealed but only pickled). As a result, not all the potential for energy saving is fully exploitable at the present time. As pointed out above, nitrogen oxide emissions under 200 mg/Nm{3} (5% oxygen at the chimney) are extremely low and well below any present and forthcoming limits. It has been found that both productivity and product quality improve quite significantly, though the performance of the new plant have not been assessed quantitatively as yet.

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Centro Sviluppo Materiali (CSM)
corso F M Perrone 24A
16152 Genova
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