Production of steel represents one of the main strategic assets of our Country.
According to Federacciai, Italy is in fact the second European country (after Germany) to produce steel, with 27.3 million tonnes in 2012, and the first for the volume of ferrous scraps, with approximately 20 million tonnes per annum of material that is re-melted in national steel plants (source: Italian iron and steel industry – Federacciai Annual Report 2013).
Analysis of energy profiles of metallurgic companies carried out by the Politecnico di Milano with regard to the Energy Efficiency Report 2013, highlights how the iron and steel sector is responsible for a large part of energy consumption together with an incidence of 56% on the total consumption of electricity and heat equivalent to 89,300 GWh/annum.(source: Energy Efficiency Report – Politecnico di Milano – December 2013)
The impact of an energy bill on productions costs can be mitigated through an increase in energy efficiency with the improvement, development and adoption of more compact production cycles, which minimise treatment processes that are energy-wise more costly.
A few possible interventions:
- adopting the use of “smokeless” loading machines
- revamping refractory masonry walls and using high-efficiency insulating materials
- automatic management systems and advanced control processes for pre-heating, heating, smelting
- loading in blast furnaces and continuous casting
- efficiency of the heating furnace
- reusing coking plant gas as fuel, reducing agent or to prepare chemical substances
- heat recovery when cooling synthesis gas
- installation of air-water exchangers to recover heat in exhaust fumes from the heating furnace
- maximise gas discharge recirculation
- optimising the quality of materials loaded into the blast furnace
- installing high-efficiency motors that are activated by means of inverters
- using inverters
- recovery, cleaning, and reusing gas produced from refining processes as fuel
- using hot-loading systems
- inserting measures to compensate for network fluctuations that determine instability of the electric arc furnace
- improving the re-phasing system.