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Different Shaft kiln for Lime Manufacturer

1. Background

In a shaft kiln there are three zones in which distinct operations involving heat transfer
take place.
They are:--
a) The preheating zone, in which the limestone is dried and heated to
calcination temperature.
b) The calcination zone, in which the stone dissociates.
c) The cooling zone, in which the quicklime is cooled.

The quality of the lime is most influenced by the conditions in the calcination zone.
Here, heat must be supplied at a temperature above the calcination temperature; which
consequently results in a sufficiency of heat in the combustion gases and dissociated
carbon dioxide to adequately heat the stone in the preheating zone. Unless the required
product is a hard burnt lime, or dead burnt lime, the rate of heating in the calcination
zone must be carefully controlled to ensure that there are no 'hot spots' or cool
channels. Most of the design variations of shaft kilns are attempts to address this aspect
of the kiln performance.

2. Types of shaft kilns

The available shaft kiln technologies fall into following four types.
a. Single shaft
b. Double shaft (recuperative)
c. Annular
d. Inclined

The following pages give brief descriptions of typical kilns of each type, and a summary
table of their operating characteristics is given at the end of this file.
3. Single Shaft Kilns

These are the most common forms of kiln in use. The vintage and number of
manufacturers are large:--

Mixed feed kilns

The mixed feed kiln is the most basic and oldest shaft kiln design, in which alternate
layers of stone and fuel are laid on to the top of the preheating zone, and are then
drawn down through the kiln as material is discharged at the bottom. Mixed feed kilns
are still widely used in the ammonia soda process, and in regions of the world where the
infrastructure and technical support are limited. The designs range from very basic
small open top, hand loaded kilns relying on natural chimney draught to induce air
through the bed, to large automatic feed and discharge, forced draft units. The latter are
highly efficient, whereas the former are not.
A significant advantage of this type of kiln is that it can be operated to produce
consistently low lime reactivity. Higher reactivity is usually only obtained at the expense
of a higher level of residual CaCO3, which is not the case with more modern kiln
designs. They are typically fired on a low volatile coal (anthracite) or metallurgical coke,
both of which have high ignition temperatures (~800 C). Higher volatile solid fuels, such
as wood, tend to release the volatile components of the fuel in the preheating zone,
which results in the excessive emission of smoke and a loss of some of the calorific
value of the fuel.
West kilns

These kilns are designed for two basic outputs, 50 and 100 tons/day lime, although
more recent experience with these units has shown that they are capable of
considerably increased output with suitable modification. They were originally designed
for oil firing, using four, five or six 'carburetors' equally spaced around the kiln at the
base of the calcining zone, the idea being to flash vaporize the oil on the hot walls of the
carburetor chamber. This was achieved by injecting a solid rotating jet of oil which
partially combusted with about 15% stoichiometric air, before entering the burning
zone, where it meets the cooling zone air and some recycled flue gas. An original
schematic is shown in Fig 1. The original oil-firing concept was later abandoned for
simple rotating oil injection onto the stone bed, and they have also been successfully
operated using natural gas as the fuel.

This kiln is of Swedish design in which the preheating zone is hexagonal, tapering into a
rectangular burning zone of approximately 3.0m by 1.2m, and then opening out into a
square cooling/discharge zone. A separate gasification unit is used to provide the heat
to the calcining zone. Water sprays cool the gasified fuel before being injected into the
calcining zone at two levels.

Fercalx (Union Carbide)

These kilns were originally designed by Union Carbide as mixed-feed, coke-fired units
They were first converted in 1952 to gas or oil fired using water cooled burner beams at
two levels and are now marketed by Fercalx. The ability to inject fuel at a large number
of discrete points within the bed in the calcining zone enables a more even heat
distribution to be achieved, although mechanical failure, distortion and the higher heat
usage due to the beam cooling tend to outweigh this potential advantage.


There are a large number of Azbe kilns in the USA, and other parts of the world, and
there are a number of variations as the technology has developed. Typically, these kilns
are of curved rectangular cross section, with a multiple level refractory burner beam for
fuel, air and flue gases at the base of the burning zone on the longer kiln axis.
This kiln design is similar to the West kiln using flue gas recycle and side firing at the
base of the burning zone. Figure 2 shows a schematic of the design.

SIC (Societa Impiante Calce srl)

SIC have two single shaft kiln designs, the CBK (central burner kiln) and the HPK (high
performance kiln), the latter being designed for smaller stone.
Chisaki Koma

This kiln design of Japanese origin is based on fixed bed preheater technology as
developed in the Davis preheater, or the Kraus-Maffai preheater.
4. Double Shaft Kilns

Double shaft kilns have been in use since the 1960's, and were developed to overcome
the problems of increased bed resistance to gas flow with smaller sized stone. They
employ the technique of regenerative flow, whereby two, or more, shafts are fired singly
in a cyclic sequence, the flue gases exhausting through the non-fired shaft(s), thereby
effecting heat recovery. They generally have very good specific fuel consumption, but
are more costly in electrical requirements due to the need for air blowers, rather than
fans. There follows a resume of the currently available double shaft kilns.
The Maerz kiln design is probably accepted as the most successful double shaft kiln.
Fuel is burnt in the upper end of the burning zone in one cylindrical shaft, and the hot
gases flow co-currently with the charge in that shaft, and then via a connecting duct to
the other shaft, where they flow counter-currently to the charge. The second shaft thus
acts as a recuperator. After a given time, the roles of the shafts are reversed. It is
claimed that since the flow of gases and stone are in the same direction in the burning
zone, the risk of overheating the lime is reduced, and a softer burnt, more reactive lime
results. The kiln designs come in two forms, a standard and a finelime kiln.
The finelime kiln, which is a later development of the standard design, has a smaller
rated capacity for any given geometric size relative to the standard kiln, and contains
more refractory. Fig 3 shows a schematic of the kiln system.

Fig 3 Schematic of Maerz Kiln

The Cim-Reversy kiln operates in a similar manner to the Maerz kiln, but is formed from
two D shaped chambers, flat sides adjacent, which gives a very short gas transfer duct,
thus reducing the propensity for dust settling and deposition. These kilns have also
been designed for small stone operation.
The Valec kiln is a double shaft design using cylindrical shafts in the same manner as
the Maerz design.
5. Annular Kilns

Annular kilns have been developed in Germany as an alternative method of ensuring

even heat distribution. The calcining and burning zones have an annular cross-section,
and the preheating zone is circular. Figure 4 shows a schematic of this type of kiln
system. Rheinische Kalksteinwerke (RKW) developed the original design, but they are
generally available from Beckenbach and FLS.
There are two common versions of this type of kiln, in which the upper heat exchanger
is optional. In the case where the kiln is equipped with two inner cylinders, see figure 5,
the upper cylinder extracts ~30% of the flue gases to a recuperator place in a vitiated air
environment. The compressed air used for cooling in the annular sections of the
cylinders is subsequently used as primary air to the burners (lower cylinder) or for other
purposes (upper cylinder). The upper cylinder is normally omitted from the design if the
stone is wet as all the flue gases are then used for preheat the air for the lower
level burners. The lower cylinder extracts gases at the bottom of the calcining zone for
recirculation to the lower burners where combustion takes

Fig 4 Schematic of Annular Kiln

Most of the kiln shaft has an annular cross-section with five gasified fuel entry ports at
each of two levels in the kiln, and staggered so as to deflect the charge as it falls in the
outer annular space. Some of the waste gases go up the central cylinder space together
with air from the cooling zone, and this can be deflected back to the lower burners and
thus regulate the temperature.

Fig 5 Double cylinder annular kiln

6. Inclined Kilns

There are two types of inclined kilns, which have been developed to cater for small
Double Inclined
The double incline kiln was developed by Warmestelle, Steine und Erde Gmbh, and is
now made by Beckenbach. The principal is to lengthen the burning zone, producing a
milder flame, with more even heat distribution and transfer without the need for flue gas
recycle. The kiln cross-section is rectangular, widening for two firing chambers.
Considerable care is needed in selection of the refractory lining, due to the complex
geometry. Waste gas and dust losses tend to be high, but the material residence time is
typically about half of a conventional shaft kiln. Fig 6 shows a schematic of the kiln

Fig 6 Schematic of Double Incline Kiln

IAF Multi-Chamber
The IAF multi-chamber kiln was first built in 1972, and an improved design was
introduced in 1987. The kiln is basically rectangular in cross-section, but is stepped into
a number (4 to 6) of combustion chambers through the burning zone, which allows a
degree of control of combustion conditions to suit the burning requirements of the stone.

7. Summary of typical shaft kiln characteristics

Kiln Maker Rate Fee Fuels Lime Reactivit Capital Runnin Product Energ Energy
Type /Design of d Quality y Cost g Cost Control y Usage
Outpu Size CaCO3 Relativ Relative Relativ Usage kWh/t
t mm % e Basis Basis e basis MJ/kg (power
TPD lime )
Shaft Mixed feed 10 - 30 - C.W 1-5 Low Low Low Medium 4.0 – 5-15
300 150 6.0
Shaft West 30- 60- G.O.C 0.5 - 3 Variable Low High Medium 4.2 – 25
170 130 5.0
Shaft Esjornsson 50- 100- G.GF 1.35 n/d Low High n/d 5.4 30
100 150
Shaft Fercalx 40- 80- G.O.C 2 High Medium Medium n/d 5.5 30
(UC) 800 350
Shaft Azbe 50- 60- G.GF 1-3 High Low High Poor 4.2 – 10 - 15
150 200 5.0
Shaft Westofen 100 30- O n/d n/d n/d n/d n/d 4.2 – 25
120 5.0
Shaft SIC CBK 40-80 40- G n/d n/d Low High Medium 4.4 20
Shaft SIC HPK 15- 25- G.O.C 1-2 High Medium High Medium 4.4 20
125 120
Top Chisaki 30- 5-40 G.O.C 1-3 Variable Medium Medium n/d 4.6 – 40
Shaped 100 5.2
Double Maerz 100- 25- G.O.C 1-2 High High Low Good 3.6 – 25 - 40
Shaft Standard 800 200 4.2
Double Maerz 100- 10- G 1-2 High High Low Medium 3.6 – 35 - 45
Shaft Finelime 300 30 4.2
Double Cimprogetti 100- 25- G.O.C 1.8 High High Low Good 3.8 – 22
Shaft 400 125 4.2
Double Voest up to 10- n/d 1-2 High High Low Good 3.8 – 25 - 35
Shaft Alpine 300 150 4.2
Double SIC 150- 20- G.O.C n/d n/d High Low Good 3.6 – 25 - 35
Shaft 400 120 4.2
Annular Beckenbac 80- 10- G.O.G 0.5 - 2 High High Low Good 4.0 – 18 - 35
h 850 250 F 4.6
Double Beckenbac 120 10- G.O 0.6 n/d Medium Medium n/d 4,000 20 - 30
Incline h 60
Multi- IAF 40- 20- G.O.C 0.3 - 1 Medium Medium High n/d 4,200 20 - 45
chambe 225 150

G – gas; O – oil; C - coal/coke; W, - wood; GF - gasified fuel

Glossary terms
Anthracite - The highest rank coal characterised by low volatile matter - always less
than 10% - and high carbon content it has a semi-metallic lustre and is capable of
burning, relatively easily, without smoke – see also Semi-anthracite.
Burner beam – A water cooled or refractory conduit passing horizontally across a shaft
kiln through which air and/or fuel is injected into the bed of material. There are usually
multiple injection ports in each beam
Calcination -The heating of a substance so that a physical, or chemical change occurs.
In the case of limestone this refers to the dissociation of calcium and magnesium
Calorific value - The quantity of energy released as heat when a unit of fuel is
completely combusted
Carburetor – A chamber in which liquid fuel and air are premixed prior to ignition
Dead burnt lime – Sintered quicklime, which does not slake readily under normal
Finelime – Manufacture’s trade name for shaft kiln designed to process small (10-
30mm) limestone lumps
Flash vaporize – To evaporate fuel oil by spraying on to a hot surface
Hard burnt lime – Lime that has been sintered as a result of over-burning at a high
Lime – A general term for the various forms of calcium oxide and/or hydroxide with
lesser amount of magnesium oxide and/or hydroxide
Lime Reactivity – A measure of the rate at which quicklime reacts with water. The
terms ‘very high’, ‘high’, ‘moderate’, ‘medium’ and ‘low’ are used as broad
classifications. These can be related to a variety of standard tests
Limestone - Sedimentary rock composed mainly of calcium carbonate derived from the
shells and skeletons of marine micro-organisms.
Metallurgical coke - A dark porous solid fuel, mainly carbon, formed as a pyrolysis or
carbonisation product of coal, produced either as by-product of Town Gas production or
as the main product of Coke Ovens – metallurgical or hard coke. Optimum Coke
properties depend upon the end-use which include presently, the main energy supply
and ore reducing agent in blast furnaces, and in former times a domestic and industrial
smokeless fuel and a basic fuel for gas producers
Quicklime – Consists mainly of calcium oxide and magnesium oxide, which, when
incorporated into a mortar mix slowly hardens in air by reaction with atmospheric carbon
Shaft kiln – Generic name for a vertical, refractory lined furnace in which a gravity
driven packed bed of material is processed
Stoichiometric - In a combustion system, the fuel and comburent supply ratio
necessary to burn completely, all the hydrocarbons and other combustible species
present in a fuel