Nonlinear optimization of steel production using traditional and novel blast furnace operation strategies

A1 Journal article (refereed)

Internal Authors/Editors

Publication Details

List of Authors: Hannu Helle, Mikko Helle, Henrik Saxén
Publication year: 2011
Journal: Chemical Engineering Science
Journal acronym: CHEM ENG SCI
Volume number: 66
Issue number: 24
Start page: 6470
End page: 6481
Number of pages: 12
ISSN: 0009-2509
eISSN: 1873-4405


The high energy requirements in primary steelmaking make this industrial sector a major contributor to the global emissions of carbon dioxide. Ways to suppress the use of fossil reductants and the emissions from the processes should therefore be developed. The present work applies simulation and optimization for studying the economic feasibility of recycling blast furnace top gas to the combustion zones after CO(2) stripping. The study comprises the unit processes in an integrated steel plant, paying special attention to the blast furnace and the preheating of the blast or the recycled top gas. The system is optimized with nonlinear programming with respect to some central variables under different CO(2) sequestration and emission costs, which yields information about the economic feasibility of the concept. It is demonstrated that the optimal states of the plant show complex transitions, where the costs play a decisive role. It is also shown that hot gas recycling with CO(2) capture and storage would dramatically reduce the harmful emissions from the process. The conditions under which top gas recycling is economically feasible are also reported, as well as the effect of omitting oil injection in a blast furnace with top gas recycling.


Emission suppression, Mathematical modelling, Optimization, Simulation, Systems engineering, Top gas recycling

Last updated on 2019-19-10 at 04:28