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Title:
METHOD OF OPERATING A SINTER PLANT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2018/215327
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
The invention concerns a method of operating a sinter plant, wherein a sinter mix is fired in a sintering machine (10), the method comprising the steps of: a) crushing fired sinter to below an upper particle size limit; b) screening the crushed sinter to remove fines and separate at least two sinter size fractions, typically smaller, intermediate and upper size fractions; c) storing each of the at least two sinter size fractions in a respective, separate storage bin (40, 42, 44). The screened sinter fractions are not mixed again at the sinter plant but are forwarded to the blast furnace plant (20'), where they are stored in respective, separate storage bins (40, 42, 44). The screened sinter fractions can be intermediately stored in separate bins at the sinter plant, before being forwarded to the blast furnace.

Inventors:
KINZEL, Klaus Peter (Am Steffesgaart 33, 5222 Sandweiler, 5222, LU)
Application Number:
EP2018/063045
Publication Date:
November 29, 2018
Filing Date:
May 18, 2018
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PAUL WURTH S.A. (32 rue d'Alsace, 1122 Luxembourg, 1122 Luxembourg, 1122, LU)
International Classes:
F27B21/00; C22B1/20
Foreign References:
DE2333560A11975-01-30
DE4414321A11995-10-26
Other References:
None
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
OCVIRK, Philippe et al. (Office Freylinger S.A, 234 Route d'Arlo, BP 48 8001 Strassen, 8001, LU)
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Claims:
Claims

1 . Method of operating a sinter plant, wherein a sinter mix is fired in a sintering machine (10), said method comprising the following steps:

(a) crushing fired sinter to below an upper particle size limit;

(b) screening the crushed sinter to remove fines and separate at least two sinter size fractions;

(c) storing each of said at least two sinter size fractions in a respective, separate storage bin (40, 42, 44).

2. Method according to claim 1 , wherein said at least two sinter size fractions separated at step b) are not mixed together at step b) or c).

3. Method according to claim 1 or 2, wherein step (b) includes separating an upper size fraction and a lower size fraction.

4. Method according to claim 3, wherein step (b) further comprises separating an intermediate size fraction that is returned, at least in part, to the sintering machine as hearth layer, excess quantities of said intermediate size fraction being stored in a respective, separate storage bin. (42)

5. Method according to claim 4, wherein said lower size fraction includes said intermediate size fraction and a smaller size fraction.

6. Method according to claim 2, 3 or 4, wherein said upper size fraction corresponds to sinter particles having a size in the range of about 20 to

50 mm; said intermediate size fraction corresponds to sinter particles having a size in the range of about 10 to 20 mm; and said smaller fraction corresponds to sinter particles having a size in the range of about 5 to 10 mm. 7. Method according to any one of claims 2 to 5, wherein said upper and lower size fractions are directly stored after said screening step b).

8. Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein at step b) crushed sinter is passed through screening units (14a, 14b, 14c) and step c) comprises collecting the screened sinter fractions to directly forward them to the storage bins (40, 42, 44).

9. Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said storage bins (40, 42, 44) are part of a blast furnace stock house and the screened sinter fractions are directly forwarded to said storage bins (40, 42, 44).

10. Method according to any one claims 1 to 7, wherein said storage bins are part of the sinter plant and screened sinter fractions are intermediately stored therein before being forwarded to a blast furnace charging installation or blast furnace stockhouse storage bins (40, 42, 44).

1 1 . Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein each size fraction separated at step b) has a predetermined particle size range that is distinct from the other sinter fractions without overlapping.

12. Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said upper particle size limit is in the range of 40 to 100 mm, preferably about 50 mm.

13. Method according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein removed fines have a particle size in the range of 2 to 8 mm, preferably of less than 5 mm.

14. Method of operating a blast furnace in a blast furnace plant comprising a blast furnace stock house, wherein said stock house includes storage bins for sinter, wherein said storage bins for sinter are fed with sinter forwarded from a sinter plant, said sinter being size-classified according to the method of claims 1 to 13, at least two sinter size fractions being stored in a respective, separate storage bin; wherein each size fraction has a predetermined particle size range that is distinct from the other sinter fractions without overlapping; and wherein said blast furnace is charged according to a predetermined blast furnace charging sequence implementing sinter size classification.

15. The method according to claim 14, wherein sinter from a desired size-class, as withdrawn from the corresponding storage bin, is charged individually in the blast furnace, to form a sinter layer at a desired location.

Description:
METHOD OF OPERATING A SINTER PLANT

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention generally relates to the field of sinter production for the ironmaking industry. More specifically, the present invention relates to a method of operating a sinter plant.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

As it is well known in ferrous metallurgy, the agglomeration of fine ferrous compounds, like fine ores, blast furnace dust (flue dust), steel works waste, mil scale etc., with finely grained fuel (e.g. coke fines) is referred to as the sintering process.

In the sinter plant, the above-mentioned raw materials are stored in bins and a mixture of these feed materials (in predetermined amounts) is subject to a water addition within a so-called mixing and nodularizing drum, in order to produce small rice size nodules or granulates. The obtained raw sinter granulates are transferred to a traveling-grate type sintering furnace. Near the head or feed end of the grate, the bed is ignited on the surface by gas burners, and, as the mixture moves along on the traveling grate, air is pulled down through the mixture to burn the fuel by downdraft combustion. As the grates move continuously over the windboxes toward the discharge end of the strand, the combustion front in the bed moves progressively downward. This creates sufficient heat and temperature, about 1300-1480°C (2370-2700°F), to sinter the fine ore particles together into porous clinkers.

After completion of burning in the furnace the obtained sinter cake is at a temperature about 600°C-700°C.lt is broken down into smaller size by means of a sinter breaker and cooled down to a moderate temperature of e.g. 100°C in a sinter cooler. The cooled product is then passed through a jaw-crusher, where the size of sinter is further reduced into smaller size, namely below 50 mm.

The crushed sinter is screened in order to separate predetermined size fractions, according to operating requirements of the sinter plant. This is illustrated in Fig .1 , which shows that 100% of the fired sinter delivered from the sintering furnace 10 is comminuted to below 50 mm in a comminuting/crusher device 12, and that this crushed sinter is conventionally subjected to screening with high performance screens of 20 mm, 10 mm and 5 mm, respectively indicated 14a, 14b and 14c. By way of this screening system, the crushed sinter is technically separated into four size fractions: i. the 20 to 50 mm fraction: this larger fraction completely integrates the sinter product.

ii. the 10 to 20 mm fraction: a part of this middle size fraction is required as hearth layer on the grid of the sintering machine. The remainder integrates the sinter product.

iii. the 5 to 10 mm fraction: this is the smaller fraction that completely integrates the sinter product.

iv. the below 5 mm fraction: these fines are recycled to the raw material section (sinter stock house 16) of the sinter plant 18. They are typically not desirable in the blast furnace 22 and will thus not be integrated to the sinter product.

It should be remarked here that upon screening, the three size fractions i), ii) and iii) are mixed together to form the sinter product that is delivered to the blast furnace plant 20. As explained above, this conventional screening process is typically carried for internal operations purposes of the screening plant, in order to remove fines recycled to the raw material sections and to pick a certain proportion of medium sized sinter (fraction ii)) to be used inside the sintering furnace 10. The final product of the sintering plant 18 is thus a sinter having a size in the range 5-50 mm. It is then forwarded to the blast furnace stock house 24 to be stored in a sinter bin (or silo) 24. During the blast furnace charging sequence, the sinter product is withdrawn from the bin 24 (and preferably screened) onto a material conveyor. OBJECT OF THE INVENTION

The object of the present invention is to provide an improved method of operating a sinter plant.

This object is achieved by a method as claimed in claim 1 . SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention has arisen from the analysis of the conventional operation of sinter plants, and from consideration of blast furnace charging practices.

As it is known, sinter is a main part of the blast furnace burden. As discussed above, sinter is typically considered in the art as a single product that includes a particle distribution varying from small particles to coarser particles, typically in the range 5 to 50 mm. That is, in typical blast furnace charging programs, sinter is considered as one single product.

By contrast to conventional practice, the present invention aims to take advantage of screening operations conventionally achieved at the screening plant not only for the operation of the sinter plant but also for the operation of the blast furnace, in particular by bringing 2 or more sinter fractions to the blast furnace stock house.

Accordingly, the present invention proposes a method of operating a sinter plant, wherein a sinter mix is fired in a sintering machine, the method comprising the following steps:

(a) crushing fired sinter to below an upper particle size limit;

(b) screening the crushed sinter to remove fines and separate at least two size fractions;

(c) storing each of said at least two size fractions in a respective, separate storage bin.

Hence in the inventive method the screening plant delivers two or more sinter products of different size classes, which are adequate for use in the sinter plant and the blast furnace plant. Typically, each size fraction separated at step b) has a predetermined particle size range that is distinct from the other fractions without overlapping.

Contrary to conventional practice, the sinter fractions that are separated at the sinter plant are not mixed together but stored intermediately in separate bins (one separated size fraction per bin). As it will be understood, the sinter fractions can be stored intermediately at the sinter plant, before forwarding to the blast furnace plant, or directly forwarded and stored at the blast furnace stockhouse. In an embodiment, one or more fractions are stored and one fraction is directly forwarded to the blast furnace top charging installation. The present method will be of advantage in blast furnace charging strategies, where for example larger sinter fractions can be used to reduce pressure drop in the blast furnace and fine sinter fractions can be used to control the radial segregation in the blast furnace.

In the inventive method, the sinter fractions separated by the conventional screening operations at step b) are thus preferably directly forwarded to storage bins, to enable charging of size-classified sinter in the blast furnace.

In an embodiment, step (b) includes separating the crushed sinter into an upper size fraction and a lower size fraction.

Preferably however, the crushed sinter is separated into three size fractions: a smaller size fraction, an intermediate size fraction and an upper size fraction. In practice, the intermediate size fraction is returned, at least in part, to the sinter machine as hearth layer, and excess quantities of the intermediate size fraction are stored in a respective, separate storage bin.

The lower size fraction may thus include the small and intermediate size fractions.

These and other features of the invention are recited in the appended dependent claims.

According to another aspect, the invention concerns a method of operating a blast furnace in a blast furnace plant comprising a blast furnace stock house, wherein the stock house comprises storage bins for sinter. Remarkably, the storage bins for sinter are fed with sinter forwarded from a sinter plant wherein sinter is size-classified according to the method disclosed herein before, at least two sinter size fractions being stored in a respective, separate storage bin. Each size fraction has a predetermined particle size range that is distinct from the other sinter fractions without overlapping. The blast furnace is charged according to a predetermined blast furnace charging sequence implementing sinter size classification.

In practice, sinter from a desired size-class is withdrawn from the corresponding storage bin, and is charged individually (i.e. only one sinter class at a time - but could be mixed with other, non-sinter material) in the blast furnace, to form a sinter layer at a desired location.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described, by way of example, with reference to the accompanying drawings, in which: Figure 1 : is a flowchart illustrating the delivery of crushed sinter in a prior art sinter plant;

Figure 2: is a flowchart illustrating an embodiment of the method according to the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS As explained in the background section and summarized in Fig.1 , different sinter size fractions are produced in the conventional sinter plant operation before being mixed again in order to form the final sinter product with a broad particle size distribution.

The present invention takes advantage of these different sinter size fractions produced in the conventional sinter plant operation and use them as such in the blast furnace instead of using them in a single product mix. As a result a more flexible blast furnace operation and especially a reduced pressure loss in the blast furnace shaft can be achieved. An embodiment of the present method will now be described with reference to Fig.2, where same or similar elements are designated by same reference signs. Sinter plant 18' comprises a sinter stock house 16, a sinter mix preparation section (not shown) to prepare raw sinter nodules or granulates to be fired in the sinter machine 10, as is known in the art and briefly described above in the background art section.

The nodules or granulates are fired (heat treated/hardened) in the sinter machine 10 and the obtained sinter cake is preferably typically broken down into smaller size by means of a sinter breaker and cooled down to a moderate temperature of e.g. 100°C in a sinter cooler (not shown).

The cooled product is then passed through a comminuting/crusher device 12, where the size of sinter is further reduced into smaller size, here below 50 mm. Crusher device 12 may be any appropriate comminuting or crushing machine, in particular a jaw crusher, toothed crusher or cone crusher. The crushed sinter is subjected to screening with high performance screens of e.g. 20 mm, 10 mm and 5 mm, respectively indicated 14a, 14b and 14c. By way of this screening system, the crushed sinter is technically separated into four size fractions: i. the 20 to 50 mm fraction, forming the larger class/fraction;

ii. the 10 to 20 mm fraction: a part of this middle size fraction is recycled in the sinter machine as hearth layer;

iii. the 5 to 10 mm fraction, here forming the smaller fraction;

iv. the below 5 mm fraction: these fines are recycled to the raw material section (sinter stock house 16) of the sinter plant 18'.

It shall be appreciated that in the present process, the different size fractions i), ii) and iii) are not re-mixed upon screening in the sinter plant to form a single sinter product, but each size fraction is stored individually in bins (hoppers or silos), e.g. at the blast furnace plant 20'. That is, one separated size fraction is stored in a dedicated bin. In other words, one bin contains only one of the separated size fractions, but there can be two or more bins containing the same size fraction. Reference signs 40, 42 and 44 designate such separate sinter hoppers provided to contain given size fractions of sinter as obtained from the screens 14a, 14b and 14c of the sinter plant 18'.

It shall be noticed that the screening is carried out in such a way that the different sinter fractions (or size classes) are distinct from each other and do not overlap. Hence, the blast furnace plant comprises bins 40, 42 and 44 comprising different size sinter fraction, which will allow blast furnace charging strategies implementing sinter size classification.

In the present embodiment, the three bins 40, 42 and 44 may be typically arranged in the blast furnace stock house, where:

- bin 40 contains the 5-10 mm sinter fraction;

- bin 42 contains the 10-20 mm sinter fraction;

- bin 44 contains the 20-50 mm sinter fraction.

For example, the screened sinter fraction is directly forwarded from the screens 14a, 14b, and 14c to the respective bins 40, 42 and 44 via dedicated, respective conveyor arrangements 46a, 46b, 46c. Conventionally, a fines-screen can be arranged to remove fines particles, e.g. below 5 mm, when drawing the size- classified sinter from the respective bins 40, 42, 44.

The availability of different size classes of sinter in separate bins at the blast furnace stock house allows charging size-classified sinter into the blast furnace. That is, layers of sinter from a desired size-class can be charged individually in the blast furnace, at desired locations in the furnace.

Overall, charging size-classified sinter in the blast furnace will allow charging sinter of different particle size class (as discharged from the bins 40, 42 or 43) into different radial positions of the blast furnace and thereby adjust gas flow distribution.

Some of the benefits of the present invention are summarized below.

- Increasing the void in the sinter fraction in the blast furnace (BF) allowing flexible utilization according to user situation, for example: - Increase in BF productivity, - Use of finer sinter fractions reducing the return fine rate,

- Allow reduced sinter quality in BF, with the possibility of using low cost sinter raw materials,

- Use of cheaper coke. - Better control of radial segregation due to reduced grain size variation in each sinter fraction/class results in better process control of the BF, providing:

- increased BF process stability,

- reduced coke consumption and

- better cooling element protection.