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Blast furnace gas is rich in CO gas with a high utilization value. At present, the utilization of blast furnace gas is not sufficient. Most metallurgical plants are in short supply of high calorific value gases, while blast furnace gas is in surplus. With different extents of BFG emissions, effective utilization of BFG can't be achieved.
In 2012, PKU Pioneer designed and built a PSA CO purifying plant from blast furnace gas for Hengyang Valin Steel Pipe Co., Ltd., which adopts PSA technology and Cu-based adsorbent to separate and purify CO from the feed gas. PSA technology has the advantages of low investment, high flexibility, high degree of automation, simple operation, etc. Compared with the 5A molecular sieve used in traditional PSA process, the Cu-based adsorbent has a larger separation coefficient between CO and N2, which makes it especially suitable for purifying CO from blast furnace gas with high N2 content. The PSA-CO plant was designed to achieve 92% recovery rate, and the purity of CO in the product gas could be adjusted in the range of 60%-70% according to the user's needs. The product gas would be used as the fuel for steel pipe processing, which is of great significance in energy saving and consumption reduction.
Before the PSA CO purification plant was put into operation, Hengyang Valin mixed natural gas into the BFG to improve its calorific value for the heating furnace at the rolling section. After the project was completed, Hengyang Valin purified 17,500Nm³/h CO, with a purity of 70% and a calorific value of 8,800kJ/Nm³, from 67,000Nm³/h blast furnace gas, and delivered directly to the heating furnace. According to calculations, it can replace 3,382×10^4Nm³ of natural gas per year, equivalent to 38,000 tons of standard coal, which is equivalent to 1/4 of Hengyang Valin's original natural gas consumption, which has largely alleviated the users' tight demand for natural gas.
The project has been operating stably since its start-up on June 8, 2013. It is the first industrialized project of purifying blast furnace gas for high-value utilization in China, which is of great significance for the demonstration of efficient utilization of secondary energy in the iron and steel industry.