An analytical furnace model for optimizing aluminum melting furnaces

Tianxiang Li, Paul King, Mohamed Hassan, Kazunori Kuwana, Kozo Saito

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

13 Scopus citations


An analytical furnace model, originally established by Essenhigh and Tsai, is developed and modified in this paper. The practical application of this modified model is to predict optimum furnace operating conditions, and has been verified by experimental tests conducted in the Experimental Research Furnace (ERF) at the Albany Research Center (ARC), U.S. Department of Energy. The development of the modified Essenhigh/Tsai model is based on melting and holding tests with two main assumptions: thermal conduction loss in aluminum melting process is the same as that in holding processes, and the heat loss through flue gases is lineally proportional to the melting rate. The former is reasonable because thermal conduction loss is small as compared with firing rate, while the latter is quite accurate as shown in the test results. Tests of aluminum melting were conducted in the ERF furnace where the combustion space volume was changed by varying the roof height. The relations between firing rate, heat absorption rate, melting rate, and energy efficiency were developed from the tests, and the optimum operating conditions under which maximum energy efficiency can be achieved were predicted. In addition, the effect of roof height on the energy efficiency was determined. This model could be a valuable tool in diagnostic analysis of day-to-day operations in aluminum melting.

Original languageBritish English
Title of host publicationLight Metals 2005 - Proceedings of the Technical Sessions Presented by the TMS Aluminium Committee
EditorsH. Kvande
Number of pages5
StatePublished - 2005
Event134th TMS Annual Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: 13 Feb 200517 Feb 2005

Publication series

NameTMS Light Metals
ISSN (Print)0147-0809


Conference134th TMS Annual Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Aluminum melting
  • Energy efficiency
  • Furnace model


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