The European Steel industry is spending considerable efforts in order to improve the socio-economic and environmental sustainability of its processes by promoting any development, which can increase efficiency and lower the environmental impact of the steel production processes. In particular, the European iron and steel sector is strongly committed toward the reduction of energy consumptions and ... [Show full abstract] CO2 emissions.
Process gases are a very valuable resource: possibilities exist to consider these gases as an intermediate by-product for the production of other valuable energy carri-ers or products with an associated environmental benefit. Therefore, the process gas networks, especially inside the integrated steelworks, have a fundamental function, as they allow meeting the demand of many processes and producing energy through ded-icated facilities. They can also support the production processes by internal electric energy generation and often by supplying energy outside the plant boundaries. On the other hand, such networks are very complex systems interacting with many different production steps and the management of such complex systems is a very difficult task, where many often-counteracting factors need to be jointly taken into account.
This paper presents the first outcomes of the research project entitled "Optimiza-tion of the management of the process gas network within the integrated steelworks" (GASNET), which aims at developing a Decision Support System helping the energy managers and other concerned technical personnel to implement an optimized off-gases management and exploitation considering environmental and economic objec-tives. A series of Key Performance Indicators has been elaborated, in order to monitor the efficiency of the gas management and the objectives of the optimization have been defined. The overall structure of the project and the ongoing work will also be outlined in the paper.