Coal and ore stand the test

At first glance these three examples have little in common. But the construction of skateparks and playgrounds and the manufacture of bicycles and tools require raw materials. The know-how of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions helps ensure that these raw materials can be mined, processed and turned into high-quality engineering materials.

The production of steel and concrete begins with raw materials such as ore, coal, limestone and clay. Machines such as bucket wheel excavators dig the rock containing these materials from the ground. Mobile and semi-mobile crushing plants, from rollsizers and roll crushers to jaw and gyratory crushers, reduce it in size at rates of up to 14,000 tons per hour. Conveyors transport the mined material over enormous distances for further processing, eliminating the need for truck haulage, cutting transport costs by up to 50 percent and reducing CO2 emissions.

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions has developed plants and machines that can carry out this work even under the most extreme conditions - from minus to plus 50 degrees Celsius and at altitudes of 5,000 meters above sea level. In rotary kilns, limestone, clay and other mineral raw materials are turned into cement and finally into concrete, one of the most important building materials of all. Coal is the starting material at the beginning of a road that leads, via coke, ore, iron and other materials, to steel - an indispensable part of our daily lives. 

Virtually emission-free coke production

thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions is one of the leading companies worldwide capable of realizing complete coke plants of all sizes and designs - from engineering to turnkey construction to maintenance. This expertise can be found in around 500 coke plants around the globe. In huge chambers (ovens) built from refractory materials and combined into batteries, coal is baked for several hours at temperatures up to 1,350 degrees Celsius and in the absence of air to form coke. During this process, the gaseous components contained in the coal are released. Special sealing systems and the EnviBAT® single-chamber pressure regulation system have made this process virtually emission-free. The raw coke oven gas is transported via gas-tight pipe systems to the byproduct plant where it is cleaned and valuable byproducts are recovered. The gas is then fed back to the coke oven heating system and therefore used holistically. Thanks to the multi-stage air supply in the Combiflame heating system, the vertical temperature distribution in the ovens is particularly uniform. This increases combustion efficiency and lowers the nitrogen oxide concentration in the exhaust gases.

A further optimization in coke plant construction concerns the commissioning period: As a rule, coke ovens have to be brought up to operating temperature over a period of several months before they can be used commercially for the first time - an energy- and cost-intensive process. Thanks to specially designed forced-air burners, this heating process now takes only six weeks.

Once the coke has been baked it can be used in steel production. Together with ore and other additives, it is heated to around 1,500 degrees Celsius in blast furnaces. The high carbon content in the coke causes a chemical reaction as iron ore is turned into pig iron. The slag from the blast furnace is granulated to form a valuable raw material for cement production. In a converter, the iron is reheated to 1,500 degrees Celsius together with scrap metal. The result is steel, a truly versatile material. Depending on its composition, steel can be hard or elastic. It can be cast, forged, machined and welded. In concrete elements, steel is used for reinforcement and provides high tensile strength. Tools made from a wide variety of steel alloys meet the highest requirements. And steel girders and connectors allow the construction of safe and weather-resistant playgrounds. The uses of steel are practically unlimited. And to top it all, steel can be 100 percent recycled - as often as desired and without any loss of quality. Learn more about our coke plant solutions here:

The bottom line: In our leisure time we are surrounded by materials such as steel and cement: we rely on them not to let us down even under the toughest conditions and over very long periods of time. We use them on our bike tours through nature, in our swings on the playground and when skating a halfpipe. It’s employees of thyssenkrupp Industrial Solutions who guarantee the extraction, preparation and processing of these materials - as safely, efficiently and with as little environmental impact as possible.