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22-12-2010 Learning Center-Smelting

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SMELTING REDUCTION TECHNOLOGIES

Smelting reduc tion usually produc es hot metal from ore in two steps. Ores
are partly reduc ed in the first step and then final reduc tion and melting
takes plac e in the second stage. Some of the most common process in use
are described below :

COREX
The c oal reduction process (COREX) , was developed by Voest-Alpine
industries (VAI) and DVAI .This is a two-stage operation in which DRI from a
shaft furnace like that used in the Midrex and HYL process is c harged into a
final smelter-gasifier. Reduc ing gas for the shaft furnace is produc ed by
partial c ombustion of coal with oxygen in the fluidized bed of the smelter-
gasifier.

The energy needed to complete the reduc tion of the DRI and produce the
hot metal and slag is provided by the partial c ombustion. The liquid produc ts
are tapped periodically and partially spent off gas from the shaft reduc er is
exported along with excess gas produced in the smelter-gasifier. The
smelter-gasifier operates at 3-5 bars and comprises an upper fluidized bed
zone at approximately 1500°C (2730°F) and a lower melting and liquid
collection zone at approximately 1550°C (2820°F). Coal and limestone are
injec ted into the freeboard above the fluidized bed zone where they are
heated rapidly to 1000-1200°C (1830-2190°F). The volatile matter is driven
off and shattered fixed c arbon particles fall into the gasification zone where
a gas with high oxygen content is injected through blast furnac e-type
tuyeres to burn the carbon to c arbon monoxide. The exothermic c ombustion
provides the energy to c omplete the reduc tion of the hot DRI and to melt
the slag and hot metal. The gas leaving the smelter-gasifier is c ooled to
800-900°C (1470-1650°F) and c leaned in a hot cyclone to rec yc le entrained
fines. A portion of the clean gas is then introduc ed into the shaft furnace as
reduc ing gas containing more than 94% CO plus H2. The remaining gas is
mixed with the cleaned offgas from the shaft furnace and the mixture used
as export fuel gas.

COREX uses approximately one tonne of coal per tonne of hot metal, with
approximately 45% of the total energy input used in ironmaking and the rest
going to export fuel gas. The hot metal produc ed has c arbon and silic on

contents similar to blast furnace hot metal; however, the sulfur content is
much higher bec ause nearly all of the sulphur in the c oal enters the slag and
hot metal. In this c onnection, organic sulphur in the c oal gasifies and is
absorbed by the DRI and returned to the smelter-gasifier as iron sulphide.

DIOS
The Direct Iron Smelting Reduction ( DIOS) was developed by the Japan Iron
and Steel Federation (JISF) , the Centre of Coal utilisation and a c onsortium
of eight Japanese steelmakers. The DIOS system has three fluidised furnaces
.Iron ore is preheated in the first of two fluidized bed reac tors in series and
pre-reduc ed to 15-25% in the sec ond reactor using cleaned offgas from the
smelter. Dust removed from the smelter, off-gas and fines removed from the
gases leaving the fluidized bed reac tors are injected bac k into the smelter.
In addition, a small amount of c oal fines, of the order of 50 kg per tonne of
hot metal produc tion, is injec ted into the smelter offgas to c ool the offgas
and provide additional CO and H2 for pre-reduc tion. Most of the coal, 600-
700 kg per tonne of hot metal, is gravity-fed into the smelter. Oxygen is
injec ted into the smelter for c ombustion of primary c oal and for post-
combustion. The oxygen lance is designed to provide both high veloc ity
oxygen for c arbon oxidation (hard blow) and lower veloc ity oxygen for post-
combustion in the freeboard (soft blow) simultaneously. The aim post-
combustion is approximately 40%, and with pre-reduction to 20%, the c oal
consumption is roughly 700-800 kg per tonne of hot metal depending on c oal
type.

AUSMELT
The Ausmelt proc ess was developed by Ausmelt Ltd. Australia . Lump ore or
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22-12-2010 Learning Center-Smelting
The Ausmelt proc ess was developed by Ausmelt Ltd. Australia . Lump ore or
ore fines are fed c ontinuously into a c onverter along with lump coal and flux.
Fine c oal , oxygen and air are injected through a top lnc e to allow
submerged c ombustion. The degree of oxidation and reduction is controlled
by adjusting fuel to air and coal ratios as well as the proportion of fine coal
injec ted down the lance. All reac tions are c ompleted in a single reactor.

HISMELT
The Hismelt process was developed by CRA ltd., Australia and Midrex
Corporation , United States .Coal is injec ted through bottom tuyers into a
molten bath. Carbon is rapidly dissolved and reacts with oxygen from
inc oming iron ore to from c arbon monoxide and iron. This reaction is
endothermic and therefore to keep the process going additional heat has to
be supplied .This is ac hieved by reacting carbon monoxide released from the
bath with oxygen from top injec tion of air. Reac ted hot gasses exit the
vessel and are used in a fluidised bed to pre- heat and pre-reduc e incoming
ore.

ROMELT
The ROMELT process was developed by Moscow institute of steel and alloys
in Russia . A major feature is there is no pre-reduction process step. The
smelter has a water-c ooled roof and sidewalls in c ontac t with slag and
conventional refrac tories in c ontact with the metal. A mixture of air and
oxygen is injected through two rows of tuyeres. Coal and ore are fed by
gravity. The system, simple and robust. ROMELT consumes more energy
than other smelting processes due to the lack of pre-reduc tion and
extensive water c ooling.

Plasmasmelt
In plasma-based smelting reduction proc esses, the reac tions take place in a
coke-filled shaft furnace with tuyeres spaced symmetric ally around the lower
part of the furnac e. The shaft is completely filled with coke.Plasma
generators and equipment for injection of metal oxides mixed with slag
forming material and possibly reductants are attached to the tuyeres. In
front of each tuyere a cavity is formed inside the coke column where
reduc tion and smelting take plac e. At regular intervals the produc ed slag and
metal are tapped from the bottom of the shaft furnace. In the c ase of iron
ore smelting the off-gas from the furnac e, c onsisting mainly of carbon
monoxide and hydrogen, can be used for pre reduction of the ore.In other
applications of the process, suc h as rec laiming of alloying metals from
baghouse dust, the produced gas is utilised as a fuel gas.If the raw material
contains metals with high vapour pressures, for example zinc and lead, these
metals leave the furnace with the off-gas which is then passed through a
condensor where the metals are rec overed from the gas.

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