• New gas sampling probe helps cement industry increase safety and sustainability in kilns

Air Monitoring

New gas sampling probe helps cement industry increase safety and sustainability in kilns

Jul 21 2022

According to estimates from the European Cement Association, 95% of conventional fuels used in producing cement can be replaced with alternative fuels and raw materials, which will help in reducing emission levels. However, these alternative fuels do raise the probability of explosions, causing costly shutdowns and delays. To face this challenge, ABB have developed the ProKiln, an inlet gas sampling system, which will improve clinker quality and output, while enabling operators to use the instrument’s measurements to reduce dangerous emissions and therefore reduce maintenance and downtime costs.

Cement production is extremely energy intensive and production and demand have increased considerably in the last few years. Across the world, governments are working hard to lower industrial emission levels, the cement industry is playing its part by using AFRs and implementing other new processes to lower their emissions. These changes have given the industry some fresh challenges; increasing usage of AFRs can create areas of incomplete combustion inside the kiln, this means there are more vaporised and volatile gases and therefore a higher level of explosion risk and the associated costs, danger and delays.

The ProKiln, tackles these challenges head on, providing permanent and continuous process control in rotary kilns. ABB’s new cement kiln inlet gas system provides powerful probe cleaning and extra mechanical strength, including a unique dual probe retraction system so sampling continues with no interruptions.

The instrument includes an extractive filter at the tip of its probe to separate sample gas from the dust load to evade scaling. Moreover, the device’s patented technology also includes two air blasters used for cleaning the probe’s tip and thus maintaining a sample path for critical analysis even when operating in the extremely tough conditions encountered in cement production.

The ProKiln is mounted on a buggy, running on a retractor, so the probe is transported safely in and out of the kiln enabling it to be cleaned automatically. An integrated cooling system recirculates water to control temperature, which is crucial in kilns where process gases can reach temperatures of up to 1200° C, or 2200°F.

ProKiln was trialled by Holcim, the  largest cement producer in the world. The test was carried out for 6 months at their Lägerdorf plant in northern Germany, that uses more than 80% alternative fuels. The plant enjoyed a period of lower maintenance and increased productivity, which was enough to convince them install a ProKiln on a permanent basis.

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