In steel production, reheat furnaces are used to heat steel slabs to prepare them for further processing. However, the traditional use of natural gas burners as the primary heat source in these furnaces results in significant carbon dioxide emissions. As a result, the steel industry has been focusing on decarburization efforts, with research aimed at identifying viable alternatives to natural gas, such as hydrogen. Furthermore, the use of regenerative burners in reheat furnaces is being explored as a means of improving heating efficiency and reducing fuel usage. This system employs a thermal reservoir and alternating burner activity to preheat inactive burners and quickly reach combustion temperatures. This preheating increases the efficiency of the system as combustion temperatures are reached more-quickly. This increased efficiency reduces fuel usage and can improve the heat output of the furnace. The present study compares the operation of traditional and regenerative burners with methane and hydrogen as fuel. It was observed that the inclusion of regenerative burners in the system provide a more uniform temperature distribution and a longer flame compared to the traditional burners. They also showed an increase of more than 120°C in peak temperatures near the slab despite having lower max flame temperature than the traditional case. The use of regenerative burners in a hydrogen fueled furnace was shown to increase the production efficiency by 14.14% compared to traditional burner methane fueled furnace. Additionally, the use of hydrogen as a fuel in place of the natural gas results in carbon-free emissions, thus reducing the environmental impact of the process and advancing decarburization efforts.

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