Project: Factory Air Pollution Control

Reduction of environmental manufacturing footprints by restrictions on pollutant emissions is one of the measures proposed by the EU commission. Europe focuses on steadily reducing allowed emissions, increasing the penalty risks and mitigation expenses for the companies._x000D__x000D_Cement, one of the most polluting industries, has been installing systems to reduce emissions of pollutant gases. Current CO problems are the Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and, in some productive locations, the Sulfur Dioxide (SO2), which are an environmentally menace. These pollutants are a result of the combustion in the process and the different chemicals reactions during the "Sintering" phase of the process inside the kiln. The produced amount varies with the chemical composition of the raw material, kiln system and with the fuels composition (calorific power, ash, volatiles, etc). Without the use of an appropriate control system it is usually impossible to COtain the pollutant values bellow the regulation limits._x000D__x000D_Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction (SNCR) and the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) methods are currently used in the cement process emissions control. SCR is a capital intensive technology, involving massive mechanical changes in existent production processes and rarely introduced in existent plants. The SNCR system basically involves the injection of chemicals (such as urea or ammonia for NOx control and ferrous sulfates for the SO2 control) into the Sintering phase into the process. SNRC is being used on a large number of plants around the world, while SCR has only being applied in new production lines._x000D__x000D_It is common to integrate the installation of the SNRC systems with the factory automation systems, using the existent electrical and control technology. This integration permits the factory operators to supervise the chemical injection set-point and its effectiveness. The operator miss-understanding about the process and the requirements of pollutant emissions below legal limits leads to a non-optimized system. The problem generated by this passive attitude increase the operational costs of the SNCR systems, caused by the excessively high non-optimized consumption of emissions reduction chemicals._x000D__x000D_The CO objective of this project is to control the pollutants output on the stack within the legal limits by optimally and automatically selecting the chemicals injection rate into the cement production process, always taking in consideration the non-violation of regulations._x000D__x000D_Controlling the pollutants ration is a quite difficult problem due to the large instability of the chemicals reactions. As an example, the NOx can easily fluctuate from values 40% below the restriction limit to 50% over the limit in less than one minute, without any change of the chemicals flow into the process. Hence the operators work to comply to a worst case scenario, protecting themselves by injecting a quantity of chemicals much higher than needed, wasting resources and increasing the production costs._x000D__x000D_This project proposes the development of a software-based product, with embedded computational intelligence, capable of selecting the optimal chemical injection quantities for minimizing the operational cost. The base computational intelligence technology for this project is the Fuzzy Logic control. It is a non-linear control technology capable to introduce human reasoning/knowledge inside automatic control loops. We propose to incorporate the knowledge provided by the different project Ps in the automatic controller._x000D__x000D_The chemical reactions generated by the chemicals introduced in the cement kiln are very complex and its effectiveness highly depends on several factors such as: temperature, pollutants concentration and dispersion of the chemicals into the gas. One other aim of this project is to develop a systems that is capable to change its strategy of injecting chemicals according to the variations in the process._x000D__x000D_To successfully achieve these objectives, it will be formed a consortium composed by 3 organizations:_x000D_- Industrial control expert company (Acontrol)_x000D_- Burner and kiln process expert company (Pricast)_x000D_- University research group with expertise in advanced control and cognitive systems (UC)_x000D__x000D_Acontrol will be responsible for developing the industrial advanced control software, and to introduce the knowledge from the other Ps into the control system. Pricast will be responsible for studying and transfer the knowledge related with kiln reactions and study the influence of the new control strategy into the final product (clinker/cement)._x000D_UC will be responsible to support Acontrol in the advanced control systems and develop cognitive systems and support Pricast in eventual investigations of chemical reactions in the process._x000D__x000D_The impact of the project results on the process optimization, with direct reduction of factory costs, will add a high market potential to the consortium participants.

Acronym FAir-Control (Reference Number: 6498)
Duration 01/11/2011 - 31/10/2013
Project Topic The aim of this project is to develop advanced real-time control methodologies for cost optimization of air pollutants mitigation systems. The goal is the control and optimization of the feed rates of mitigation chemicals introduced into the production process (Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction).
Project Results
(after finalisation)
The CO results of the FAir-Control project from the point of view of the participation of the Acontrol in the project workpackages are:_x000D__x000D_1)- System study [1]:_x000D_1.1)- Thorough study of the cement kiln process was performed, including the study of the kiln chemical reactions, kiln design, cement characteristics, energy, environment, plant model, raw materials, combustibles, and emissions;_x000D_1.2)- Emission control techniques, and kiln process points that can be optimised, were investigated;_x000D_1.3)- Actual process measurement data were gathered and investigated;_x000D__x000D_2)- Green kiln design and sensor study:_x000D_2.1)- Investigation of kiln design, including new design concept (greener one), planning of new optimisations for environment protection, nitrogen species, abatement and control of nitrogen oxides, techniques for NOx reduction, and kiln process optimisation;_x000D_2.2)- After having partial process data, for some variables, beyond physical sensors and laboratory measurements, virtual sensor methodologies using computational intelligence and cognitive methodologies were developed for prediction of relevant variables, including the following achievements: _x000D_(i) predicting gas emissions in a cement kiln plant using hard and soft modelling strategies, _x000D_(ii) fault detection and replacement of a temperature sensor in a cement rotary kiln,_x000D_(iii) a new soft-sensing methodologie to estimate the burning zone temperature in a cement kiln plant. _x000D_The important goal of improved confidence and reliability in the obtained values of variables was pursued. This information is important for the control system design;_x000D__x000D_3)-Optimisation of the mitigation chemicals entry points:_x000D_- Acontrol participated by providing knowledge in the control strategy related with the PLC programming. The knowledge was provided by WP2 and the mechanical structure for the optimal entry points was designed by Pricast. The major focus on the dependency of chemical reactions with temperature and chemical interactions between pollutants and mitigation chemicals;_x000D__x000D_4)- Advanced control system design:_x000D_- AControl was responsible for implementing the controller on a factory site. The controller was tested in real environment, which is an important improvement over the initial expected results defined in the project proposal. The technologies using in this WP was fuzzy control, and in particular in adaptive fuzzy control, predictive fuzzy control, adaptive predictive fuzzy control, system model identification and estimation, and automatic extraction of fuzzy control systems for industrial processes. _x000D__x000D_5)- Exploitation, dissemination and management:_x000D_- Publication of project results in technical papers, scientific journal, conference, and MSc thesis [1]-[7];_x000D_- Presentation of project results at the industry-related scientific conference "18th IEEE Int. Conf. on Emerging Technologies and Factory Automation (ETFA 2013)". ETFA is one of the two CO worldwide international conferences in the area of industrial electronics and factory automation. At the ETFA 2013, contact and interaction and presentation of results to international scientific and technical community in the area have been performed._x000D_- Site constructed for the project._x000D_- Presentation of preliminary results on sime Acontrol and Pricast clients._x000D_
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
3 Acontrol - Automação e Controle Industrial, Lda Coordinator Portugal
3 Universidade de Coimbra Partner Portugal
3 Pricast Control Systems S.L. Partner Spain