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ArticleName The practice of using brown coal for rotary kiln sintering of nepheline-lime-soda burden at “RUSAL Achinsk” JSC
DOI 10.17580/tsm.2019.09.06
ArticleAuthor Finin D. V., Kuranov A. V., Kovtun O. N., Kolmakova L. P.

“RUSAL Engineering-Technological Center” LLC, Saint Petersburg, Russia:

D. V. Finin, Principal Researcher of the Pyrometallurgical Group, Process Engineering Department, Alumina Production Office


“RUSAL Achinsk” JSC, Achinsk, Russia:
A. V. Kuranov, Senior Foreman Sintering Process


Siberian Federal University, Krasnoyarsk, Russia:
O. N. Kovtun, Associate Professor at the Department of General Metallurgy, e-mail:
L. P. Kolmakova, Associate Professor at the Department of Non-Ferrous Metallurgy, e-mail:


Sintering of nepheline ores at alumina refineries is an energy consuming process involving considerable operating costs. RUSAL Achinsk – or, Achinsk Alumina Refinery – has a number of competitive advantages such as being located close to the source of raw materials and consumers of metallurgical alumina, having their own thermal power plant running on cheap coal and making by-products, which make it one of the most cost-effective companies of the group. Optimisation of rotary kiln process involving optimised chemical composition and size distribution of burden, enhanced heat transfer, reduced heat losses and increased kiln unit power has almost reached its limit. Solutions that can revolutionize sintering process due to adoption of different instruments are still under development and will require capital investment. Considering that fuel accounts for a great share of the cost, one of the ways to reduce sintering costs would be identifying and adopting less expensive fuel. For RUSAL Achinsk, such less expensive fuel would be black coal from the Kuznetsk deposit and low-ash brown coal from the Kansk-Achinsk basin. Compared with black coal, brown coal has lower calorific capacity, high humidity, high volatile-matter content and low ash content. The paper features thermograms of black and brown coals produced by simultaneous thermal analyser. The thermograms indicate that the combustion of brown coal is more intense and initiates sooner, which, under otherwise equal conditions, will provide a short inflexible flame and will require corrections to the combustion mode for achieving desired cake quality. The difference between the sintering process relying on brown coal versus the one relying on black coal is shown in distribution bar charts for burden and dust consumption and temperature. The obtained data suggest that the adoption of pulverized brown coal would ensure uncompromised kiln efficiency and cake quality.

keywords Sintering, nepheline ore, alumina, brown coal, coal, calorific capacity, distribution bar chart, temperature, cake, rotary kiln

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