Energy conservation in the steel industry
The last few years have witnessed an unprecedented increase in the price of energy available to industry in the United Kingdom and worldwide. The steel industry, as a major consumer of energy delivered in U.K. (8% of national total and nearly 25% of industrial total) and whose energy costs currently form some 28% of the total manufacturing cost, is very much aware of the need to conserve energy. Because of the complexities of steelmaking processes it is imperative that a full understanding of each process and its interlinking role in an integrated steelworks is understood. An analysis of energy distribution shows that as much as 70% of heat input is dissipated to the environment in a variety of forms. Of these, waste gases offer the best potential for energy conservation. The study identifies areas for and discusses novel methods of energy conservation in each process. Application of these schemes in BSC works is developed and their economic incentives highlighted. A major part of this thesis describes design, development and testing of a novel ceramic rotary regenerator for heat recovery from high temperature waste gases, where no such system is available. The regenerator is a compact, efficient heat exchanger. Application of such a system to a reheating furnace provides a fuel saving of up to 40%. A mathematical model developed is verified on the pilot plant. The results obtained confirm the success of the concept and material selection and outlines the work needed to develop an industrial unit. Last, but not least, the key position of an energy manager in an energy conservation programme is identified and a new Energy Management Model for the BSC is developed.