Recovering Energy with Brainpower

Hansjörg Huber ...

... has 38 years of experience in electric steelmaking and is now Senior Expert of Technical Proposal Management at Primetals Technologies.


The EAF Quantum is a highly advanced electric arc furnace that can bring significant energy savings compared to conventional EAFs. It is environmentally compatible, highly available with tap-to-tap times of only 33 minutes, and can reduce the need for manual control with its smart automatic functions. The most impressive aspect to EAF Quantum is the furnace's ability to preheat scrap using the off-gas that results from its own melting process. The off-gas is intelligently routed into a specially designed shaft that is part of the furnace's scrap-charging system. The charging works by transferring scrap from a subsurface dumping station directly into the furnace with an elevator system. Before it is loaded, 100% of the scrap travels through a trapezoial preheating shaft, where it is retained for just the amount of time needed for optimal energy recovery.

Hansjörg Huber is the engineer who crafted the core design of the EAF Quantum. "The most difficult aspect was to get the charging system exactly right," he says. "This required a lot of brainpower, and a lot of persistence—not only on my part but from the entire team that eventually contributed to the solution." Another challenge was perfecting the kinematics of the furnace shell. "We wanted it all: more precise tapping, higher availability, minimal downtimes, and furnace automation." To achieve his goals, Huber kept to his motto, "crazy but basic"—driven to innovative but also down-to-earth. An excellent formula for pioneering the future.