As time progresses, aging of the anode baking furnaces occurs, and packing coke (the powder) gets infiltrated into the flue-wall cavity, which gives rise to flow blockage. Using a fully coupled 3D multi-physics computational model, several modified flue-wall designs are proposed. In the current design of the flue-wall, the openings at the top of first and last baffle are meant for the flow bypass in case of flow blockage. However, these openings are considered to be accountable for nonuniform distribution of the flow and extra energy consumption. The effect of flow blockage for different designs is investigated. By closing the openings which, both the flow and temperature uniformity is enhanced substantially. It is also remarked that the modified fluewall designs are safe to operate at the time of flow blockage. Moreover, considering the practicalities of modifying the flue-wall design, openings of different thickness are proposed by specifying the number of bricks to be removed. This modification is done by removing one brick (85 mm) as a reference case, and other scenarios are also considered by shifting the two openings to the top or the bottom. The methodology and results presented in the present research can be employed effectively by the aluminum industry in modifying the furnace geometrical and operational parameters to enhance baking uniformity for old furnaces.
Keywords Anode baking furnace, flue-wall, flow blockage, aging, design modification, aluminum electrolysis