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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > Industrial Processes > Optimisation of rotary kiln operation in nickel production.
Graphic element Optimisation of rotary kiln operation in nickel production.
New software uses fuzzy logic to automatically control temperature, fuel consumption, air flow and feed rate in rotary kilns, maximising output and minimising expenses.

Rotary kilns, essentially long, rotating, heated tubes, are important components in the nickel production process. Over the course of three to four hours, nickel ore is passed through a rotary kiln where it is pre-reduced before being moved on to an electric furnace. The physical parameters within the kiln must remain properly balanced and have traditionally been controlled manually.

This project was aimed at developing a new expert system for the automation and optimisation of rotary kiln processing. A new computer software system using fuzzy logic controls a number of parameters, including temperature along the kiln's body, fuel consumption, air flow, and the rate at which the ore is fed into the kiln, maximising output and the degree of reduction while minimising expenses.

Partners say the application of an expert system to rotary kiln processing is a world premiere. The implementation of the results have led to cost reductions and improved product quality and consistency. A communication campaign has been launched targeting the main users of rotary kilns, including European and other ferroalloy producers.

Cordis RCN: 6544
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