Flexible heating with hydrogen for continuous lines.

FlexHeat2Anneal is a funded research project investigating the flexible use of hydrogen as a fuel for continuous process lines and galvanizing lines.

Project partner

IOB, RWTH Aachen University
thyssenkrupp Rasselstein GmbH
WS Wärmeprozesstechnik GmbH

The scope of this project is the investigation of the flexible use of hydrogen as fuel in continuously operated annealing lines and similar steel strip furnaces, aiming at the reduction of CO2 emissions. The use of hydrogen is being tested in existing radiant tube systems in the research lab. In parallel, modern radiant tube systems using fuel-flexible and energy-efficient FLOX® burners in Double-P-tubes with minimal NOx emissions are being developed and demonstrated. Hydrogen use is supposed to be possible within a 0-100% range without manual adjustment of the overall furnace or changes to the radiant tube system. Despite changes in the fuel supply, the goal is to maintain high stability of the process as well as energy-effiency and low-emission combustion.
The project will support decarbonisation efforts in steel processing as well as the acceptance of hydrogen as future fuel in the industry. The solutions developed within the project will not only apply to new installations but aim at retrofit solutions as well in order to allow for quick market diffusion. Demonstration will take place in a continuous annealing line for steel strip. The results will show the effects of switching from natural gas to hydrogen and will give a well founded estimate for a realistic potential of carbon reduction due to the switch in fuel.

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