Heat Balance Control Changes- Further Steps and Safety Issues

Additonal authors: Reed, M. E.. Book title: Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019. Chapter: . Chapter title:

Proceedings, Vol. Proceedings of the 58th Conference of Metallurgists Hosting Copper 2019, 2019

Kho, T.

The control of flash furnace heat balances is critical. Suspension smelting control and stability comes from stable operation of the heat balance, and this leads to a stable reaction shaft exit temperature. A number of flash furnace operations have been reviewed to determine if the application of this approach is beneficial for their operation. The cause and effect relationship between reaction shaft exit temperature with uptake and throat buildup is being enhanced with this work program. Our operating personnel are exposed to the operational hazards of cleaning this buildup from the throat and it is imperative that as an industry we continue to look for repeatable solutions. WorleyParsons has reviewed operational data from a number of flash furnaces and looked at the possible improvements that can be made to decrease variation in the reaction shaft exit temperature. The data assessed for each operation illustrate the need to fully understand the process inputs to the particular operation and to ensure that the control changes are correctly impacted. In the plant data that have been assessed for a number of operations combinations of feed changes and inappropriate process decisions have lead to changes in reaction shaft exit temperature which impact the overall furnace operation and the uptake shaft condition, and ultimately the boiler. INTRODUCTION In 2016 WorleyParsons jointly prepared a paper outlining the effects of heat balance control on the Olympic Dam flash furnace (Reed et al, 2016). That paper investigated the importance of heat balance control in flash furnaces and demonstrated the changes made at the Olympic Dam operation to control the heat balance in the furnace and the impact that change had. The operation is still using the tool to assist in trouble shooting performance and pinpointing problems that may lead to issues in the furnace throat and Waste Heat Boiler (WHB). As a result of the interest in the methodology and due to the issues surrounding safety and process performance caused by WHB throat buildup and damage, WorleyParsons approached a number of flash furnace operators to discuss the application of the approach at their operations.
Keywords: Copper 2019, COM2019