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Molten Metal Equipment Innovations

New Cupola Reducing Coke, Operating Costs for ACIPCo

June 30, 2008
Kuttner North America furnace achieving MACT compliance

American Cast Iron Pipe Co. (ACIPCo) recently commissioned a new cupola melting system that the designer and builder reports has helped the ductile-iron foundry meet environmental regulations, increase productivity, and save production costs. Kuttner North America, Port Washington, WI, says the new installation it designed is achieving federal MACT (maximum achievable control technology) standards for airborne emissions, and increasing ironmaking efficiency.

The new, 150-in.-diameter cupola with a nominal capacity of 100 ton/hr of iron, has been in operation for less than three months, and according to Kuttner it has produced over 40,000 tons of iron as of early July. It replaced a cupola installed in 1976.

ACIPCo, Birmingham, AL, produces ductile iron pipe, fire hydrants, and valves, and electric-resistance welded steel pipe.

In addition to the new cupola furnace, Kuttner supplied a gas-combustion system; a 1,150ºF recuperator, with thermal-oil gas cooler; and a Luehr Filter baghouse. Kuttner was the general contractor for the project, and also supplied auxiliary equipment — blowers, pumps, controls, and instrumentation — to make ACIPCo’s cupola “a completely hands-free operation.”

Kuttner has guaranteed the installation will comply with the new-source MACT limit of 0.002 gr/dscf.

David Kasun, P.E., Kuttner’s senior process engineer, reports the new cupola has decreased ACIPCo’s coke consumption by about 10%, which would be about 10,000 tons/year. The supplier states this would equal a reduction in CO2 emissions of 33,000 tons/year.

“The facility is operating with significantly lower operating and energy costs, resulting in lower gas volumes and lower heat loads that have dramatically reduced water consumption, natural gas usage, and electrical demand,” Kasun states.