Comprehensive numerical modeling of raceways in blast furnaces

Chih Chia Huang, Stefan Born, Margot Klaassen, Jeroen A. van Oijen, Niels G. Deen, Yali Tang (Corresponding author)

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A numerical investigation of dynamic raceway formation in an industrial-scale blast furnace is performed using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) coupled with a Discrete Element Method (DEM). The industrial-scale simulations are made feasible by incorporating the Flamelet Generated Manifold (FGM) method and a coarse-graining method to reduce the computational cost while ensuring effective modeling of gas phase combustion and a large number of solid particles, respectively. The model considers the interactions between pulverized coal (PC) and coke, as well as their interaction with gas. The simulations reveal a different size and shape of the physical and chemical raceway, indicating that not all crucial reactions occur within the physical raceway. According to the model, the physical raceway formation is primarily determined by the blast air momentum, and the PC combustion has a negligible effect on its dimensions. The chemical raceway formation heavily depends on the oxidation rate of coke. The utilization of PC is quantified in terms of burnout. Smaller PC particles are found to undergo a higher degree of burnout due to faster convective heating and oxidation rates. Modifying the angle of the PC injection lance in current configuration is found to be inconsequential to PC burnout. The presented results highlight the significance of enhancing PC-blast mixing to improve PC utilization and provide new insights into optimizing blast furnace operations.

Original languageEnglish
Article number119857
Number of pages14
JournalChemical Engineering Science
Publication statusPublished - 5 May 2024


This work was carried out on the Dutch national e-infrastructure with the support of SURF Cooperative and under project number T18021 in the framework of the Research Program of the Materials innovation institute (M2i) ( ) supported by the Dutch government. Financial support by Tata Steel Nederland is gratefully acknowledged.

FundersFunder number
Materials Innovation Institute (M2i)
Tata Steel Europe Ltd.


    • Bird's nest
    • Blast furnaces
    • CFD-DEM
    • Coke
    • Combustion
    • FGM
    • Pulverized coal
    • Raceway
    • Transient simulations


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