1 800 000 euro
Åbo Akademi University's share of the budget:
233 000 euro (13%)
The decreasing and fluctuating quality of raw materials and the aim to maximise PCI and decrease coke rates force European blast furnaces to operate closer to operational limits. At same time productivity and efficiency must be raised to survive in global competition. High stack permeability and stable gas distribution become most important. However, the analysis and control of the stack processes is difficult: Hundreds of measurement values are available nowadays, but they are distributed around the blast furnace and just show indirect “fingerprints” from outside instead of the real internal process information needed (e.g. position of process zones). New measurement techniques deliver very fast, full 2D information of the top (acoustical gas temperature, burden profile radar), but they are not sufficiently validated and not investigated by research. Instead, the operators are overcharged with even more separate measurement data. No overall process information is available to decide about control actions. The main idea of StackMonitor is to establish a new hybrid approach of data processing which couples statistical and kinetic process models with several online measurements. This new approach will provide industrial benefit even beyond iron making, since several industrial processes suffer from the mismatch between the vast amount of measurement data and its poor exploitation. To achieve this aim, StackMonitor establishes the innovative coupled CFD-DEM simulation to support online process monitoring and control, validated with comprehensive high temperature lab trials. Thus, for the first time the interrelations between solids and gas in the upper stack can realistically be described: The percolation, mixing and degradation of material during descent and the corresponding layer permeability. Online tools for process monitoring, analysis and control are developed and validated in close collaboration with three industry partners.