Blast Furnace Upgrade Initiative Achieves Emission Reduction Milestone

Tata Steel is set to embark on a pioneering program aimed at reducing the carbon footprint of its blast furnaces by a remarkable 160,000 metric tons of CO2 annually. To put this achievement into perspective, it’s equivalent to the annual emissions generated by nearly 100,000 cars or the energy consumption of approximately 50,000 households.

At the heart of this ambitious endeavor are the two blast furnaces located in Port Talbot, which presently churn out roughly 3.6 million metric tons of liquid iron each year. These formidable furnaces are powered by high-pressure “hot blast” air, superheated to temperatures exceeding 1,100°C. The key to this process lies in the utilization of recycled on-site process gases to heat the air within seven towering refractory-brick-lined “stoves,” each towering approximately 45 meters high and boasting an 8-meter diameter.

Andrew McGregor, the project manager overseeing this transformation, emphasizes the critical role these stoves play in the operation of their blast furnaces. Any reduction in the efficiency of heating the air has a cascading effect, necessitating the use of excess gas or additional metallurgical coke to chemically reduce the iron ore inside the furnaces.

The ongoing program will focus on upgrading the burners responsible for heat generation in three of the seven stoves, with the introduction of two state-of-the-art units employing the best available technology. Furthermore, many of the refractory bricks that serve as heat reservoirs for producing hot blast air are being replaced. Remarkably, all this work is being carried out while the remaining operational stoves continue to function seamlessly.

Andrew explained, “This program of activity will have a profound impact on our carbon footprint, energy expenditures, as well as operational stability and efficiency. It signifies a significant step forward in our commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainable industrial practices.”

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