The decreasing availability of top-grade raw materials of coal and the increasing pressure from environmental support groups is making it important to understand the quality of coke. The significance of these facts hinges upon the need to ensure blast furnaces are efficient in their roles. And thus, the need to measure the performance of coal!
When it comes to measuring the performance of coal, all calculations must be accurate and precise for they are the critical determinants of how successful the coal operation will be. Mostly, the main skeleton parameters to be taken into consideration are ash and calorific value.
However, before you consider coal analysis calculations, there’s a greater need to analyze coke and its reactivity. See, the effectiveness of coke in blast furnaces is determined by how resistant to degradation it is. Coke is the main fuel and still a reducing agent, although these features do not affect how it works on blast furnaces.
In fact, coke being a porous medium has a more significant role in economizing the operations of blast furnaces. For it to degrade, it has to react with CO2, moisture or oxygen in which its abrasive attribute makes the lumps stick to each other.
Of Course, the Quality of Coke Is a Crucial Determinant of Its Strength
To measure its strength, therefore, coke reactivity test has to be done. It is a two-phase test that involves Coke Reactivity Index, commonly called CRI and the Coke Strength after Reaction or CSR. And the procedure is known as the Metallurgical coke reactivity index testing. The appropriateness of this method stems out of the fact that it’s suitable for metallurgical coke, often used in blast furnaces in industrial sites.
If the CRI value is found to be low while the CSR value is high, the coal is deduced to be of the best quality in the market. This is because the two tests are in relation to how a blast furnace performs, especially on its fuel rate and how permeable the burden is.
However, the above-stated facts aren’t the only important things to note about the performance of coal and coke reactivity. Such things as coal rank, the percentage of ash it contains and calorific value matter a great deal. But, this method isn’t a really dependable procedure, and that’s because of the difficulties in quantifying what controls the remaining from the test.
There are Limitations, However
It is because of this limitation that there’s what’s known as elemental coal analyzer, a first analyzer whose use is vital in coal-fired power plants. The analyzer essentially helps to proactively combat issues around coal variation so that a more consistent coal blend is attained and thus the quality of fuel is enhanced.
You see, when it comes to the coal blending process, different qualities of coal are mixed so that they suit their intended use. The essence of this is if the quality specifications are not met, the coal will not have any vital use and customers will not buy them.
Lastly, it is important to additionally mention the different methods of coal analytical calculations and indexes used by various coal and coke specialists. Because they know that data may vary, most of them employ interesting protocols and calculations for even near-conclusive answers. So, if you would like to find one, be sure to consider this fact as well.