The metal producing industry in Norway contribute to large export values, an increase in the value of the Norwegian energy as well as advanced technological knowledge. A major part of the metal produced in Norway is ferroalloys and silicon. This industry manages a substantial part of the electrical energy produced in Norway. It is hence a continuous drive to minimize the energy consumption per ton of metal produced. This will in most cases also lead to a lower CO2 emission. This project will contribute to reduce the energy consumption by studying materials that will affect the material- and energy-transport in the industrial furnaces. This can be accumulation of unwanted materials in the furnaces, or raw materials that affect the mass transport.
The research partners in the project is NTNU and SINTEF , and the industrial partners are Elkem AS, Eramet Norway AS, Finnfjord AS and Wacker Chemicals Norway AS. Recruitment is an important output from the project and MSc students, one phD candidate and one postDoc researcher will participate.
The silicon and ferroalloy producers in Norway transforms around 7 TWh per year to Norwegian welfare through employment, technology and export. Though this industry is in the technological and environmental forefront globally, a continues improvement is necessary to remain in that position. The goal of this project is to reduce the energy consumption and CO2 emissions by increasing the knowledge of unwanted accumulations in the Submerged Arc Furnace where the metal is produced. Unwanted accumulations is materials that over time has been accumulated and effects the mass flows, the gas flows, and the electric energy distribution. This is mainly oxide materials like liquid slag, carbide banks and condensed material produced from gases. The activities in this project will focus on how they are formed, the properties of the accumulated materials and the effect it has on the material- and gas- flows as well as electrical current paths. This will mainly be studied through experimental lab scale experiments in conjugation with thermodynamic and kinetic modelling. Computational Fluid Dynamic modelling will be used to describe the metal and slag flow in the furnaces and industrial measurement campaigns will also be incorporated. This will be a part of the close interaction between the research partners and the industry, as the industry is participating in the governance as well as participating in the reference groups of the work packages.
The research partners will be NTNU and SINTEF. There will however be a cooperation with national and international partners through related projects, partners like Norce and MINTEK, and universities in Japan, China, South Africa and Island. In this project the recruitment base for this industry will be strengthen by the education of 1 PhD, 1 Postdoc and MSc-students working in the project.