Modelling and simulation of steel reheating processes under oxy-fuel combustion conditions - Technical and environmental perspectives

Yukun Hu, Chee Tan, John Niska, Jahedul Chowdhury, Nazmiye Balta-Ozkan, Liz Varga, Paul Roach, Chunsheng Wang

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This paper investigates the impact of flameless oxy-fuel combustion on the thermal performance of a pilot-scale steel reheating furnace. A comprehensive mathematical model, based on the zone method of radiation analysis, was developed, which takes into account the non-grey behaviour of the furnace atmosphere under oxy-fuel combustion conditions. The model was subsequently used to simulate the temperature profile of an instrumented slab used in the experiment. The results showed that the predicted slab temperature profile along the furnace is in good agreement with measurement. However the model over predicted the absolute slab temperatures due to the influence of formation of oxide scales on the slab surface, which was not taken into account in the current model. When compared to air-fuel combustion simulation, the results of oxy-fuel combustion also indicated a marked improvement in the furnace specific fuel consumption (approximately 16%). This was mainly due to the enhanced radiative properties of the furnace atmosphere and reduced exhaust energy losses as the result of less dilution effect from nitrogen. This resulted in reduction in the overall heating time by approximately 14 minutes. Furthermore, if the economics of carbon capture is taken into consideration, theoretically, the energy consumption per kilogram of CO2 captured can be reduced from 3.5-4.2 MJ kg-1 to 0.96 MJ kg-1. In conclusion, the current studies support the view that oxy-fuel combustion retrofitting to reheating furnaces is a promising option, both from a technical and from an environmental point of view.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberEGY-D-19-01983R1
Pages (from-to)730-743
Early online date11 Jul 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2019


  • reheating furnace
  • air-fuel combustion
  • flameless oxy-fuel combustion
  • zone method
  • thermal performance


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