Reducing net CO2 emissions using charcoal as a blast furnace tuyere injectant
The replacement of coal-based fuels by renewable fuels such as charcoal is an attractive way to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions from the integrated steelmaking route. Our previous studies have indicated that the potential for savings in net CO2 emissions ranges from 32 to 58 percent, with use as a BF tuyere injectant being the largest application. The current study considered the combustibility of four types of charcoal in comparison with PCI coal under simulated BF raceway conditions. The major findings were that burnouts under standard conditions (air-cooled coaxial lance, O/C = 2.0) were comparable or better than that of the high volatile matter PCI coal studied, and a comparison with the trend line for burnout with injectant volatile matter previously established for coals, indicated that the hardwood charcoals studied had burnouts 40% (abs) higher than those of equivalent coals, and the softwood charcoal studied was higher again. A study of the effects of oxygen enrichment indicated that small increases were effective, and particularly so for the least combustible charcoal. Overall, the burnout results indicated that higherthan- coal injection rates should be possible in industrial practice, and in combination with the previous heat and mass balance results, they indicated the potential for increased BF productivity. The brief study of the combustion of coal-charcoal mixtures indicated good combustibility and predictable burnouts. The microscopic examination of both the charcoal injectants and their combustion chars indicated that there was significant fragmentation of the charcoals during combustion, boosting their already high surface areas and combustibility.