DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION OF NOVEL LOW-NOx BURNERS IN THE STEEL INDUSTRY

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Gas Technology Institute (GTI), together with Hamworthy Peabody Combustion Incorporated (formerly Peabody Engineering Corporation), the University of Utah, and Far West Electrochemical have developed and demonstrated an innovative combustion system suitable for natural gas and coke-oven gas firing within the steel industry. The combustion system is a simple, low-cost, energy-efficient burner that can reduce NOx by more than 75%. The U.S. steel industry needs to address NOx control at its steelmaking facilities. A significant part of NOx emissions comes from gas-fired boilers. In steel plants, byproduct gases – blast furnace gas (BFG) and coke-oven gas (COG) – are widely used ... continued below

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Cygan, David December 28, 2006.

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Gas Technology Institute (GTI), together with Hamworthy Peabody Combustion Incorporated (formerly Peabody Engineering Corporation), the University of Utah, and Far West Electrochemical have developed and demonstrated an innovative combustion system suitable for natural gas and coke-oven gas firing within the steel industry. The combustion system is a simple, low-cost, energy-efficient burner that can reduce NOx by more than 75%. The U.S. steel industry needs to address NOx control at its steelmaking facilities. A significant part of NOx emissions comes from gas-fired boilers. In steel plants, byproduct gases – blast furnace gas (BFG) and coke-oven gas (COG) – are widely used together with natural gas to fire furnaces and boilers. In steel plants, natural gas can be fired together with BFG and COG, but, typically, the addition of natural gas raises NOx emissions, which can already be high because of residual fuel-bound nitrogen in COG. The Project Team has applied its expertise in low-NOx burners to lower NOx levels for these applications by combining advanced burner geometry and combustion staging with control strategies tailored to mixtures of natural gas and byproduct fuel gases. These methods reduce all varieties of NOx – thermal NOx produced by high flame temperatures, prompt NOx produced by complex chain reactions involving radical hydrocarbon species and NOx from fuel-bound nitrogen compounds such as ammonia found in COG. The Project Team has expanded GTI’s highly successful low-NOx forced internal recirculation (FIR) burner, previously developed for natural gas-fired boilers, into facilities that utilize BFG and COG. For natural gas firing, these burners have been shown to reduce NOx emissions from typical uncontrolled levels of 80-100 vppm to single-digit levels (9 vppm). This is done without the energy efficiency penalties incurred by alternative NOx control methods, such as external flue gas recirculation (FGR), water injection, and selective non-catalytic reduction. The FIR burner was previously demonstrated on firetube and watertube boilers, and these units are still operating at several industrial and commercial boiler sites in sizes ranging from 2.5 to 60 million Btu/h. This report covers the development of an innovative combustion system suitable for natural gas or coke-oven gas firing within the steel industry. The prototype FIR burner was evaluated on a 20 million Btu/h watertube boiler. Acceptable burner performance was obtained when firing natural gas and simulated coke-oven gas doped with ammonia. The laboratory data reveals a direct relationship between NOx formation and the ammonia concentration in the fuel. In addition, NOx formation increases as the primary stoichiometric ratio (PSR) increases. Representative ammonia concentrations, as documented in the steel industry, ranged from 200 to 500 vppm. When the laboratory burner/boiler was operated with 500 vppm ammonia in the fuel, NOx emissions ranged from 50 to 75 vppm. This, conservatively, is 75% less than state-of-the-art burner performance. When the burner is operated with 200 vppm ammonia in the fuel, the corresponding NOx emissions would range from 30 to 45 vppm, 84% less than present burner technology. During field evaluation on a 174 million Btu/h industrial prototype burner both natural gas and actual COG from on-site generation were tested. Despite the elevated hydrogen cyanide and ammonia content in the COG throughout the test program, the FIR burner showed an improvement over baseline emissions. At full load; 167 million Btu/h, NOx emissions were relatively low at 169 vppm. This represents a 30% reduction compared to baseline emissions not accounting for the higher hydrogen cyanide content in the COG. CO emissions remained below 20 vppm and were stable across the firing range. This represents a 68% reduction compared to baseline CO emissions. When firing natural gas, emissions were stable as firing rate increased over the range. At low fire; 45 million Btu/h, NOx emissions where 33 vppm and increased at full load; 144 million Btu/h, to 49 vppm. CO emissions fluctuated with the oxygen content and remained below 135 vppm during all tests. The boiler’s maximum output was not achieved due to a limitation dictated by the host site natural gas supply. The FIR burner benefits the public by simultaneously addressing the problems of air pollution and energy conservation through a low-NOx combustion technology that does not increase energy consumption. Continuing activities include the negotiation of a license with Hamworthy Peabody Combustion, Incorporated (Hamworthy Peabody) to commercialize the FIR burner for steel industry applications. Hamworthy Peabody is one of the largest U.S. manufacturers of combustion equipment for boilers in the Steel Industry, and has stated their intention to commercialize the FIR burner.

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  • Report No.: DOE/ID/13821
  • Grant Number: FC36-99ID13821
  • DOI: 10.2172/896758 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 896758
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc883988

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  • December 28, 2006

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Sept. 22, 2016, 2:13 a.m.

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  • Oct. 31, 2016, 5 p.m.

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Cygan, David. DEVELOPMENT AND DEMONSTRATION OF NOVEL LOW-NOx BURNERS IN THE STEEL INDUSTRY, report, December 28, 2006; United States. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc883988/: accessed November 22, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.