The main process objective of lime kiln operation is to produce a uniform quality lime. Additional operating objectives include minimizing fuel consumption and complying with environmental regulations. Given the long process delays and variable interaction inherent to lime kilns, these objectives are extremely difficult to achieve under manual or standard closed-loop kiln operation. A predictive control algorithm, MACS TM (Multivariable Advanced Control System) has been successfully applied to a Scandinavian kiln. A significant reduction in process variability has been achieved while simultaneously extending the operating life of the refractory. In addition to the kiln temperature profile, flue gas oxygen and CO are also explicitly regulated by the controller. By sustaining stable kiln operation at the process limits, the advanced controller is able to minimize energy use while ensuring safe combustion conditions are maintained
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