Energies (2020-10-01)

The Feasibility of Replacing Coal with Biomass in Iron-Ore Pelletizing Plants with Respect to Melt-Induced Slagging

  • Hamid Sefidari,
  • Bo Lindblom,
  • Lars-Olof Nordin,
  • Henrik Wiinikka

Journal volume & issue
Vol. 13, no. 5386
p. 5386


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Combustion-generated fly ash particles in combination with the particles arising from the disintegration of iron-ore pellets, could give rise to the build-up of deposits on the refractory linings of the induration facility. Due to climate change and other environmental issues, there is a desire to cut down on use of fossil fuels. Therefore, it is of interest to investigate the feasibility of replacing coal with less carbon-intensive alternatives such as upgraded biomass, e.g., biochar and pyrolysis bio-oil. While the combustion of biomass can be carbon-neutral, the effects of biomass ash upon slagging during the iron-ore pelletizing process in a grate-kiln setup is unknown. In the present study, the effect of the interaction between the pellet dust and biomass-ash upon melt formation and the viscosity of the resulting melt, which can collectively affect melt-induced slagging, was theoretically assessed. The slagging potential of 15 different biomass fuels, suitable for the pelletizing process, was quantified and compared with one another and a reference high-rank coal using a thermodynamically derived slagging index. The replacement of coal with biomass in the pelletizing process is a cumbersome and challenging task which requires extensive and costly field measurements. Therefore, given the wide-ranging nature of the biomasses investigated in this study, a prescreening theoretical approach, such as the one employed in the present work, could narrow down the list, facilitate the choice of fuel/s, and help reduce the costs of the subsequent experimental investigations.