Journal of the Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy
On-line version ISSN 2411-9717
VAN MANEN, P.K.. Furnace energy efficiency at Polokwane Smelter. J. S. Afr. Inst. Min. Metall. [online]. 2009, vol.109, n.1, pp. 47-52. ISSN 2411-9717.
Anglo Platinum's Polokwane Smelter is situated outside Polokwane, in the Limpopo Province in South Africa. A single 168 MVA six-inline rectangular furnace smelts dry concentrates containing platinum group metals (PGMs). Furnace energy consumption since commissioning is presented, showing that energy efficiency improves as capacity utilization increases. An energy balance for the furnace is outlined, indicating the measured or calculated energy losses from the hearth and sidewall cooling, the copper coolers, the upper furnace walls and roof, and the energy losses in off-gas, matte, and slag. From the energy balance, the potential to improve energy efficiency by controlling the slag temperature, the slag level, and the off-gas volume is derived. Furthermore, the impact on the energy balance of different concentrate types is discussed, as well as the potential impact of replacing all upper waffle coolers by plate cooler panels.