Energy and Mass Balances

Cont­act per­son: Dr.-Ing. Tho­mas Echterhof


Fields of activities

Ener­gy and mass balan­cing, elec­tric steel­ma­king pro­cess, pro­cess model­ling, off-gas analysis

Areas of research

Energy and resource efficiency

Incre­asing the ener­gy and resour­ce effi­ci­en­cy of steel pro­duc­tion in the elec­tric arc fur­nace has been a cen­tral topic for rese­arch and deve­lo­p­ment in this working group for many years. Much of this work is based on the ana­ly­sis of exis­ting pro­ces­ses by dra­wing up ener­gy and mass balan­ces and the pro­cess opti­mi­sa­ti­on deri­ved from them.
For the pre­pa­ra­ti­on of balan­ces and also for the deve­lo­p­ment of pro­cess con­trol stra­te­gies, the group draws on many years of expe­ri­ence in the instal­la­ti­on and ope­ra­ti­on of off-gas ana­ly­sis sys­tems on indus­tri­al high-tem­pe­ra­tu­re units such as the elec­tric arc fur­nace. In addi­ti­on, the working group ope­ra­tes an elec­tric arc fur­nace on a pilot plant sca­le at the Her­zo­gen­rath site.
The test­ing and imple­men­ta­ti­on of new mea­su­re­ment tech­no­lo­gy at the elec­tric arc fur­nace, but also the deve­lo­p­ment of new agglo­me­ra­ti­on pro­ces­ses for resi­dues and by-pro­ducts of the elec­tric steel­ma­king rou­te, con­tri­bu­te to an increase in the ener­gy and resour­ce effi­ci­en­cy of the pro­ces­ses as well as cross-pro­cess cir­cu­lar eco­no­my approaches.

Decarbonisation and environmental technology

In the past, off-gas mea­su­re­ments on elec­tric arc fur­naces were used to deter­mi­ne envi­ron­men­tal­ly rele­vant mass flows (NOx, CO2). In addi­ti­on to deter­mi­ning the cur­rent sta­tus, basic prin­ci­ples of the for­ma­ti­on and pro­cess stra­te­gies for redu­cing or avo­i­ding envi­ron­men­tal­ly rele­vant NOx emis­si­ons were deve­lo­ped and inves­ti­ga­ted both in the pilot plant and in indus­try.
A par­ti­cu­lar­ly important area is curr­ent­ly rese­arch into decar­bo­ni­sa­ti­on, i.e. the sub­sti­tu­ti­on of fos­sil car­bon car­ri­ers with e.g. bio­mass and bio­co­al as well as hydro­gen in the elec­tric steel­ma­king pro­cess. Here, too, inves­ti­ga­ti­ons have been and are being car­ri­ed out both on a labo­ra­to­ry and pilot plant sca­le as well as in industry.

Process modelling

Pro­cess model­ling is car­ri­ed out on the basis of mathe­ma­ti­cal model­ling and machi­ne lear­ning methods. A dyna­mic pro­cess model for simu­la­ting the pro­ces­ses in the elec­tric arc fur­nace is available in the working group and is con­ti­nuous­ly fur­ther deve­lo­ped. In addi­ti­on to aca­de­mic rese­arch on and with the pro­cess model, it is also imple­men­ted in indus­try to sup­port fle­xi­ble and opti­mi­sed pro­cess con­trol. Fur­ther­mo­re, the pro­cess model of the elec­tric arc fur­nace is also being made acces­si­ble for tea­ching and fur­ther education.

Research projects

Ongoing research projects

  • Reco­ve­ring valuable mate­ri­als from metal-con­tai­ning, dus­ty pro­duc­tion resi­dues through fib­re was­te-based bri­quet­ting — FaBrik (BMBF)
  • Reduc­tion of CO2 emis­si­ons through the fle­xi­ble and effi­ci­ent use of dif­fe­rent ener­gy sources at the elec­tric arc fur­nace – Flex­LBO (BMBF)
  • Deve­lo­ping and enab­ling H2 bur­ner uti­liza­ti­on to pro­du­ce liquid steel in EAF — DevH2forEAF (EU RFCS)
  • Incre­asing the resour­ce effi­ci­en­cy of metall­ur­gi­cal pro­ces­ses by agglo­me­ra­ting slags, dusts and slud­ges using stamp pres­ses – ReMPA4S (AiF IGF)
  • Retro­fit­ting equip­ment for effi­ci­ent use of varia­ble feedstock in metal making pro­ces­ses – REVaMP (Hori­zon 2020)

Completed research projects

  • Deve­lo­p­ment of a novel, modu­lar retro­fit packa­ge for elec­tric arc fur­naces up to 20 t (AiF ZIM)
  • Cement-free brick pro­duc­tion tech­no­lo­gy for the use of pri­ma­ry and secon­da­ry raw mate­ri­al fines in EAF steel­ma­king – Fines2EAF (EU RFCS)
  • Deve­lo­p­ment of a refe­rence model for the life cycle assess­ment of elec­tric steel­ma­king for pro­cess opti­mi­sa­ti­on and CO2 savings – EcoS­teel (BMBF)
  • On-line slag com­po­si­ti­on ana­ly­sis for elec­tric arc fur­naces – OSCANEAF (EU RFCS)
  • Biochar for a sus­tainable EAF steel pro­duc­tion – GREENEAF2 (EU RFCS)
  • Valo­ri­sa­ti­on and dis­se­mi­na­ti­on of EAF tech­no­lo­gy – VALEAF (EU RFCS)
  • Deve­lo­p­ment of an agglo­me­ra­te brick from lad­le slag and bio­co­al for use in the elec­tric arc fur­nace in steel pro­duc­tion (AiF ZIM)
  • Mega­Car­bon – Resour­ce-effi­ci­ent and high­ly pro­duc­ti­ve pro­duc­tion of car­bon fibres for a wide ran­ge of appli­ca­ti­ons (Ziel 2 NRW EFRE)
  • Deve­lo­p­ment of a modu­lar, retro­fit­ta­ble and ener­gy-effi­ci­ent ves­sel tech­no­lo­gy for elec­tric arc fur­naces (AiF ZIM)
  • Sus­tainable EAF steel pro­duc­tion – Gree­nE­AF (EU RFCS)
  • Incre­asing ener­gy and resour­ce effi­ci­en­cy in elec­tric steel­ma­king through holi­stic, qua­li­ty-gui­ded pro­duc­tion con­trol – ENRECO2 (BMWi)
  • Con­trol of Nitro­gen Oxi­de Emis­si­on at the Elec­tric Arc Fur­nace – CONOX (EU RFCS)
  • Impro­ved EAF pro­cess Con­trol using On-line Off­gas Ana­ly­sis – OFFGAS (EU RFCS)
  • Fun­da­men­tal inves­ti­ga­ti­ons on the for­ma­ti­on of nitro­gen oxi­des in the elec­tric arc fur­nace (DFG)
  • Deve­lo­p­ment of ope­ra­ting con­di­ti­ons to impro­ve che­mi­cal ener­gy yield and per­for­mance of dedus­ting in air­tight EAF (EU ECSC)