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Energy and Mass Balances

Contact person: Thomas Echterhof

Areas of research

Process technology
Apart from the preparation of energy and mass balances, especially for the electric steelmaking process but also for other energy intensive high temperature processes, the research group is also active in process optimization and process development. For the preparation of balances and also for the development of process control strategies the group relies on long-time experience with the installation and operation of off gas analysis systems at industrial high temperatures aggregates like the electric arc furnace. In addition empirical and analytical modeling as well as simulations based on Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) are used. Furthermore, the research group operates at the Herzogenrath site an electric arc furnace in pilot plant scale. Goal of the work in this area is usually the improvement of energy and resource efficiency.

Electric arc furnace in pilot plant scale during tapping

Environmental technology
In the area of environmental technology the implementation of off gas measurements at dedusting plants serves the determintation of environmentally relevant mass flows (e.g. NOx, CO2, etc). Apart from determining the current state, fundamentals of their formation are investigated and process control strategies to reduce or avoid environmentally relevant emissions are developed and investigated in pilot scale as well as industrially.
Another important area is the research into the substitution of fossil carbon sources by biomass e.g. in the electric steelmaking process. Here again the investigations are conducted at laboratory and pilot-scale as well as in cooperation with industry at industrial plants.

Heat treatment
The research has number of heat treatment furnaces at her disposal to conduct heat treatment and sintering trials in a big temperature range (1600°C max) and under different atmospheres.

Ongoing research projects

Development of process models for the dedusting plants of electric arc furnaces

Dynamic process modeling and simulation of electric arc furnaces

Retrofitting equipment for efficient use of variable feedstock in metal making processes – REVaMP (Horizon 2020)

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)

Investigating the influence of interactions between the arcs, freeboard gases, slag and melt on the operation of an EAF using mathematical modelling (DAAD scholarschip)

Advancement of the steel and slag phase simulation in a comprehensive electric arc furnace process model (CONACYT-DAAD scholarschip)

Completed research projects