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Reining in Costs, Controlling Emissions


Innovations in binders, coke replacements and advanced oxidation may decrease consumption and boost efficiency in ductile iron casting facilities. ROSE TORIELLI, FRED CANNON, ROBERT VOIGT, PENN STATE UNIV., UNIVERSITY PARK, PENNSYLVANIA; TIMOTHY CONSIDINE, UNIV. OF WYOMING, LARAMIE, WYOMING; JAMES FURNESS, FURNESS NEWBURGE INC., VERSAILLES, KENTUCKY; JOHN FOX, LEHIGH UNIV., BETHLEHEM, PENNSYLVANIA; JEFF GOUDZWAARD, NEENAH INDUSTRIES INC., NEENAH, WISCONSIN; AND HE HUANG, URS CORP., PHILADELPHIA


producer of gray iron castings and second largest of ductile iron. Te American metalcasting industry faces worldwide competition for low cost, high-grade iron and steel scrap amid ever tightening air quality standards. Technological innovation involving raw materials is essential, because they represent one of the largest production costs for many facilities. Additionally, while conventional end-of-pipe emission controls can add substantially to capital invest- ment and operating costs, innovations aimed at emission sources can reduce costs. Tese advancements also may reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and enable compliance with increasingly stringent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency standards. A team of university


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researchers, development entrepreneurs and metalcasting personnel has been pursuing sustainable technologies for the metalcasting industry, with a particular focus on cast iron. Te researchers have developed three major innovations:


n 2012, gray and ductile iron castings represented 68% of the total casting tonnage in the U.S., the world’s third largest


1. Te replacement of phenolic


urethane core binders with binders composed of hydrolyzed collagen, alkali silicates and other additives can cut VOC pollution by two-thirds. 2. Te replacement of conventional


metallurgical coke in cupolas with anthracite fines formed into bricks with hydrolyzed collagen, lignin and other additives burn as fast as coke while pro- ducing 35-40% more energy per volume. 3. An application of advanced


oxidants and hydroacoustic cavitation to spent green sand and baghouse dust restores the binding activity of the clay and cleans the sand. Tis process reduces costs by decreasing clay, coal and sand consumption, while also diminishing air pollution from VOCs and hazardous air pollutants. Tis study evaluates the flow of


energy and materials in cast iron facilities to better understand the costs and environmental benefits of sustainable technologies currently under deployment in the industry and those nearing commercialization. Te potential innovations involve advanced oxidation systems for recycling baghouse dust and green sand, binder technologies that reduce VOCs and replace coke, and binder systems developed from waste prod- ucts in non-metalcasting processes to replace materials that produce large amounts of VOCs.


A Basis for Comparison A baseline model is necessary to


Technological innovation is essential because raw


materials represent one of the largest production costs for metalcasting facilities.


measure the use of resources, emission profiles and costs related to existing and prospective casting technologies. Tis control model is calibrated for an actual cupola-based iron casting facility in Wisconsin that uses metallurgical coke, conventional green sand mold- ing, no recycling of baghouse dust or sand, and no innova- tions for releasing sands or clays from their carbon coating. Tis baseline also uses pheno- lic urethane cores cured with amine gas. Te operation was used to estimate the impact


March 2014 MODERN CASTING | 39


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