Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources


Industrial and Managements Systems Engineering

Committee Chair

Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan

Committee Member

Zhichao Liu

Committee Member

Hailin Li


Industrial process heating furnace operations consume considerable energy in the U.S. manufacturing sector, making it crucial to identify energy efficiency strategies due to the growing need to minimize energy usage and emissions. It is paramount that engineers and owners focus their resources on maintaining the parameters with the most significant impact on energy efficiency since it is not always feasible to oversee all the parameters. This study represents a comprehensive parametric analysis using MEASUR (Manufacturing Energy Assessment Software for Utility Reduction) to evaluate the impact of various key factors on energy efficiency for industrial process heating furnaces. The data for two industrial furnaces at separate manufacturing facilities and locations, especially a fuel-fired heat treatment furnace and an electric arc furnace (EAF) for steelmaking, was employed to establish the baseline heat balance models in MEASUR. Based on the findings from the baseline heat balance, the modified scenarios were created by varying the potential parameters to determine their sensitivity to heat input in industrial furnaces, including the parameters pertinent to charge materials, excess air, combustion air, flue gas, fixtures, furnace surfaces, openings, furnace draft, and cooling system. The fractional factorial design experiment was developed with two-level parameter values, considering the feasible and practical limitations, and regression analysis was conducted to determine the most significant parameters and energy efficiency strategies for heat input in industrial furnaces. The three most significant parameters to heat input for a fuel-fired industrial furnace, Industrial Furnace A, are excess air percentage or the oxygen percentage in flue gas (OF), average surface temperature (ST), and combustion air temperature (CT). Similarly, for an electric industrial furnace, Industrial Furnace B, the parameters are charge temperature (CHT), average surface temperature (ST), and time open (TO). Furthermore, a comparative analysis was done for the fuel-fired and equivalent electric resistance furnaces to identify the prospect of electrification of industrial furnaces relying upon fossil fuels. This study aims to provide insights that assist industries and designers in making informed decisions regarding industrial furnace upgrades, process optimization, and maintenance investments, resulting in substantial energy and cost savings, and reduced environmental impact.

Embargo Reason

Publication Pending

Available for download on Thursday, July 25, 2024