Fuels in the Canadian Non-Ferrous Metals Industry

CIM Bulletin, 1961

This paper is one of a series prepared to study the role of fuels and reductants in metallurgical processes, especially from the viewpoint of Canadian requirements. The object of these studies is to provide a reasonably authoritative interpretation on the interrelation of fuels in light of the considerable changes that have taken place in the Canadian energy field during the past few years. Previous papers in this group have dealt with the problem generally, and specifically in terms of the development of the iron and steel industry of Western Canada. These latter papers, presented at the Symposium on Iron and Steel in Western Canada held in Edmonton, Alberta, on September 8-9, 1959, surveyed the ferrous processes of interest for use in Wes tern Canada, especially with regard to solid fuel requirements. At that time it was evident that there was a need for a similar study of the fuels aspect of the non-ferrous metals industry. The replies to a questionnaire recently circulated to the leading nonferrous metals companies indicate that the trend in fuel consumption is towards increased displacement of oil and coal by natural gas as a source of process heat, while the use of coal and coke as reductants will not be curtailed to the same extent. So far as the coal industry is concerned, the coal and metallurgical coke consumptions in the non-ferrous metals industry, considered on a coal basis, amounted to about 1,500,000 tons in 1959 as compared with about 5,000,000 tons to the ferrous metals industry during the same period for the manufacture of blast furnace coke. This disparity narrows when the contribution from the Canadian coal mines is considered, which in the same period amounted to about 500,- 000 tons to the non-ferrous metals industry and about 600,000 tons to the ferrous metals industry. This brief survey of the non-ferrous metals industry suggests a need for reports dealing with fuel uses and based upon practical experience with various fuels in specific processes. Exchange of information of this nature would help achieve a more efficient and economic utilization of available fuels in the industry.
Keywords: blast furnace, Canada, coke oven, natural gas, reverberatory furnace, Canada, Coal, Coke, Cokes, Fuel, Fuels, Oil, Oils, Process, Processes