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PRODUCTION OF LIQUID HOT METAL

Amit Chatterjee Adviser to the MD Tata Steel

IIT, Kharagpur, 26th October, 2010

PART - I IRONMAKING IN BLAST FURNACES


Present Scenario and General Features

IRON ORE TO LIQUID STEEL


-

30 - Fe2O3

Iron ore

Oxygen %

20 -

Direct molten steelmaking Blast furnace and Smelting Reduction Liquid steel

10 -

Direct reduction Remelting DRI, HBI


Scrap

Scrap

0 -

Carbon %

Refining Hot metal

5 -

| 0

| 200

| 400

| 600

| 800

| 1000

| 1200

| 1400

| 1600

Temperature OC

BLAST FURNACE IRONMAKING


Amongst all the ironmaking processes, the blast furnace still holds the dominant position. The blast furnace has remained up-to-date competitive with the new technologies. and

Hot metal production rates of 8000-10,000 tpd, fuel rates of around 450-470 kg/thm (270-275 kg coke plus 175-225 kg coal), furnace availability ranging between 95-98% and campaign life of 15-20 years are benchmarks today.

SIZE AND NUMBER OF BLAST FURNACES IN THE WORLD IN 2007


140 Number of BFs 120 100 80 60 40 20 0
-5 00 50 1 -1 00 10 0 01 -1 50 15 0 01 -2 00 20 0 01 -2 50 25 0 01 30 300 0 01 -3 50 35 0 01 -4 00 40 0 01 -4 50 45 0 01 -5 00 50 0 01 -5 50 55 0 01 -6 00 0

130 80 59 63 38 35 34 8 21

BF inner volume, m 3

In 2007, there were around 490 BFs varying in size from 500 to 6000 m3 inner volume

CHANGE IN SIZE OF BLAST FURNACES AT POSCO, S.KOREA

BLAST FURNACES IN INDIA


BF size, m3 (inner vol.) > 3000 2000-3000 1500-1999 1000-1499 500-999 < 500 Total No. of Furnaces 2 8 8 15 8 ~ 30 68 Combined inner vol., 000 m3 6.4 17.2 14.1 16.2 3.9 ~ 5.5 61 Production, Mpta 4.0 8.5 6.5 7.5 3.0 ~ 2.5 32

INCREASING BLAST FURNACE SIZE IN INDIA


Steelworks Big BFs JWS Tata Steel - G (after upgrdation) Tata Steel - H Tata Steel - I Big BFs Under project planning stage Vizag # 3 Bhilai # 0 IISCO Bokaro 2 rebuild Tata Steel KPO Medium and small BFs under construction JSW, JSPL, Bhusan Various others Inner vol., m3 4019 2308 3800 3800 ~ 4000 ~ 3800 ~ 3200 ~ 2600 ~ 4000 x 2 1680 x 2 < 500 Capacity, Mtpa 3.0 1.8 2.5 2.5 3.0 2.7 2.2 1.8 6.4 3.0 2.0

MACRO-FEATURES OF A BLAST FURNACE


The furnace is a refractory lined steel shell filled with material viz. coke, iron ore, sinter, pellets, flux, etc. from the stockline down to the bottom. The process goes on continuously for several years till the furnace is shut down for repairs and modification. The inputs and outputs are represented per metric ton (i.e. tonne) of hot metal. Preheated air at 1000-1250O C is blown through tuyeres into the furnace. It may be enriched with some pure oxygen, moisture. Most modern furnaces also inject pulverised coal. Exothermic combustion of coke and coal by oxygen of air gasifies carbon into CO and also provides heat. The highest temperature zone of the furnace (1900-2000OC) is at the level of tuyeres the raceway.

BLAST FURNACE PLANT

BLAST FURNACE REFRACTORY LINING


For containing heat, lining is important. It is subjected to: Carbon monoxide attack. Action of alkali and other vapours high temperature. Abrasion by moving solid charges. Attack by molten slag and metal. Effect of furnace design and operation. Alumino-silicates and carbon are refractory materials most commonly employed for BF lining. Ordinary fireclay bricks containing 40-45% Al2O3 are used in the upper stack. 60% Al2O3 (known as high duty fireclay) is employed for lower stack, belly and bosh. There have been attempts to use silicon carbide bricks in the bosh region as inner refractory lining. Carbon is the popular refractory in the hearth. It has very high thermal conductivity. The hearth is cooled by water.

HOT BLAST STOVES

HOT BLAST STOVES


25-40% of the total BF gas generated is consumed in pre-heating the blast in hot blast stoves. Each furnace has at least three stoves. The stove is a tall cylindrical (height 20-36 m, diameter 6-8 m) steel shell lined with insulating bricks inside. The interior of a stove has a combustion chamber, and a heat re-generator unit, which consist of refractory bricks arranged as a checker work. As gases flows through the checker work, heat is exchanged with checker bricks. The stoves operate in cycles. During heating cycle, the blast furnace gas is burnt with air in the combustion chamber. The hot flue gas heats up the bricks. This requires 2-4 hours. Then the combustion is stopped and air at room temperature is blown through the stove in the reverse direction. The air, blown by turbo-blowers, gets heated following contact with hot checker bricks. Then flows into the blast furnace through tuyeres. This is the cooling cycle of the stoves. Lasts 1-2 hr. Since cooling is faster than heating, a minimum of 3 stoves are required one on cooling and two on heating.

DEVELOPMENTS IN BF IRONMAKING

TECHNOLOGICAL IMPROVEMENTS IN BFs IN GERMANY AND EFFECT ON COKE RATE

IMPROVEMENTS IN BLAST FURNACES


Maximum size of blast furnaces stabilised at about 15 m hearth diameter; inner volume of 5000-6000 m3. Maximum productivity achieved 2.8-2.9 t/m3/day using conventional raw materials. Maximum output is 12000 tpd; equivalent to 4 Mtpa. Coke consumption (without coal injection or other fuel) is at best about 450 kg/thm, i.e 3.15 Gcal or 12.5 GJ, with recoverable excess BF gas of energy value 3-4 GJ. Iron ore beneficiation becoming mandatory for reduction of slag volume from 300-350 kg/thm to 200 kg or even 100-150 kg/thm using high grade pellets (66-68%).

OPERATIONAL FEATURES OF SOME BFs IN THE WORLD


Parameter Posco (S. Corus Korea) BF 6 (Netherlands) BF 7 8600 3225 2.66 2.5 1.6/2.0 85(S) 15(O) 1.85 11 390 100 320 6750 2328 2.9 1.67 4.9 50(S) 50(P) 1.54 9.5 339 161 236 Kimitsu 3 (Japan) Nippon Steel (Japan)

G Blast Furnace (Tata Steel)

Production, t/day Working volume, m3 Productivity, t/m3/day* Top pressure, kg/cm2 Oxygen enrichment, % Burden, % Sinter (S), Ore (O), Pellets (P) Al2O3 in sinter, % Coke ash, % Coke rate, kg/thm PCI rate, kg/thm Slag rate, kg/thm

10,233 3790 2.7 2.25 4.0 50(S) 50(P) 1.54 9.5 365 125 236

10,051 NA 2.47 2.2 2.4 93(S) 7(P) 1.84 10.2 392 71(Oil) 286

5150 2308 2.2 1.3 4.6 70(S) 30(O) 2.4 15.4 410 120 300

AUXILIARY FUEL INJECTION INTO BLAST FURNACES


Injection of hydrocarbons through the tuyeres generates H2 and CO in the combustion zone. H2 gives several additional benefits, such as: Faster gaseous reduction of iron oxides. Higher thermal conductivity of the gas and consequently, faster heat transfer to the solid burden. Better bed permeability in the furnace, since hydrogen has a much lower density than CO and N2.

TOTAL REDUCING AGENTS IN 1995


Country Japan USA France Germany Italy Netherlands UK India Coke, kg/thm 414 413 351 359 353 357 394 480 Coal, kg/thm 98.8 36.5 125.6 51 129.5 141 43 120 Oil, kg/thm 10.0 3.5 63 15 55 Others, kg/thm 1.2 40 Total, kg/thm 514 499.5 480.1 473 497.5 498 492 600

Today, in many countries, coke consumption even as low as 270290 kg/thm has been achieved at coal injection rates of 190-220 kg/thm, with a coke to coal replacement ratio in the range of 0.9-1.08.

COAL INJECTION INTO BLAST FURNACE


Pulverised coal injection (PCI) is a of considerable current interest. In most cases, 1 kg coal at best replaces 1 kg coke, referred to as Replacement ratio. Sometimes, RR can be more than 1. Typically, coal is ground to about 80% below 75 micron (0.075mm). Coal injection is normally accompanied by suitable oxygen enrichment of the air blast. Coal injection rates above 100 kg coal/thm are quite common now-a-days and some modern furnaces have reached a level as high as 250 kg/thm. Choice of appropriate coal in terms of its ability to combust easily in the raceway, depends on the nature of the coal (particularly its volatile matter content), particle size distribution and mode of injection. All these factors influence the Replacement ratio.

INCREASE IN GLOBAL AVERAGE PCI RATE

Higher PCI calls for better coke.


Avg. PCI rate in 2008-09 : Japan, Korea, Taiwan 120, China 190, EU 215, Tata Steel India 160, JSPL, India 130-140, Baotou, China 150.

PRESSURE DROP AT DIFFERENT COKE RATES

LIMITATION OF COAL COMBUSTION IN THE RACEWAY

FUEL RATE IN G BLAST FURNACE,TATA STEEL


Coke/Coal injection rate, kg/thm 700 Coke rate 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 2003-04 2004-05 2005-06 2006-07 2007-08 533 565 498 77 73 101 129 113 Coal rate

448

458

Gradual decrease in coke and increase in coal is seen.

CHARGING SYSTEM: BELL TYPE

BELL-LESS TOP WITH ROTATING CHUTE

LATEST IS GIMBLE TOP CHARGING SYSTEM

ADVANTAGES ACCRUED FROM IMPROVED BURDEN DISTRIBUTION


Increased productivity, decreased coke rate, improved furnace life. Improved wind acceptance and reduced hanging as well as slips. Improved efficiency of gas utilisation and indirect reduction. Lower silicon content in hot metal and consistency in the hot metal quality. Reduces tuyere losses and minimisation of scaffold formation. Reduced dust emission owing to uniform distribution of fines.

CENTRAL WORKING AND WALL WORKING BLAST FURNACES

MONITORING BURDEN DISTRIBUTION


The monitoring system for assessing distribution includes: Heat flux monitoring equipment to measure the heat flow in different zones (both above and under the burden). Profile meters for the measurement of surface profiles. Thermocouples in the throat, stack and bosh regions to measure temperature. Stack pressure monitoring and pressure drop measurement along the furnace height. Special instruments such as infrared probes to monitor the burden surface temperature, devices in the stack region to measure individual layer thicknesses and local descent rate, and tuyere probes to sample materials at the tuyeres level. Mathematical models for charge distribution control, overall heat and mass balance and interpretation of probe data.

BLAST FURNACE PROBING AND CONTROL

PART - II IRONMAKING IN BLAST FURNACES


Mechanism of Reduction, Blast Furnace Reactions, Zones in a BF

NOMENCLATURE OF REACTIONS IN A BF
The reduction of iron oxides by CO and H2 is traditionally known as Indirect Reduction in blast furnace ironmaking. This is meant to distinguish it from the reduction by solid carbon, which is called Direct Reduction. Gas-solid reactions are much faster than reactions between two solids. Therefore, maximum of indirect reduction is the goal. Utilisation of hydrogen as a reductant has definite advantage. Disadvantage is -----.

BLAST FURNACE REACTIONS


As the solid charges descend downwards, major reactions may be classified into the following categories viz.: Removal of moisture from the raw materials. Reduction of iron oxides by CO. Gasification of carbon by CO2. Dissociation of CaCO3 (where raw limestone added). Reduction of FeO by carbon. Reduction of some other oxides of ore by carbon. Combustion of coke and coal in front of tuyeres. The outputs from the furnace are: Molten iron (i.e. hot metal) Molten slag Gas at a temperature of around 200OC, containing CO, CO2, N2, moisture and dust particles.

IMPORTANT BLAST FURNACE REACTIONS


Gasification reaction: 2C + O2 = 2CO Boudouard reaction: 2CO = 2CO2 + C Solution loss reaction: C + CO2 = 2CO Water gas shift reaction: CO + H2O = H2 + CO2 Exothermic reaction

Endothermic/ Exothermic (beyond 1000C) reaction

Endothermic reaction

Mild Exothermic reaction

MECHANISM OF IRON OXIDE REDUCTION


Transfer of reactant gas to the solid surface (CO or H2) across the gas boundary layer around the piece of solid. 3 Fe2O3(s) + CO (g) = 2 Fe3O4 (s) + CO2 (g) Fe3O4(s) + CO (g) = 3 FeO (s) + CO2 (g) 3 Fe2O3(s) + H2 (g) = 2 Fe3O4 (s) + H2O (g) Fe3O4(s) + H2 (g) = 3 FeO (s) + H2O (g) Inward diffusion of reactant gas through the pores of the solid chemical reaction FeO (s) + CO = Fe (s) + CO2 (g) FeO (s) + H2 = Fe (s) + H2O (g) Outward diffusion of the product gas (CO2 or H2O) through the pores. Transfer of the product gas from the solid surface into the bulk gas across the boundary layer.

IRON OXIDE REDUCTION


Reaction kinetics of iron ore reduction determines the rate at which iron oxides are converted to metallic iron. The rate of any chemical reaction increases as the temperature increases. As a result, reaction kinetics is not generally a matter of great concern in blast furnaces. This is contrary to the reaction rates in DR processes. Owing to lower temperatures, the reactions are slower. Hence, the production rate of DR processes is generally lower than that in blast furnaces.

IRON OXIDE REDUCTION


Iron oxide reduction is complex because the oxide charged undergoes a series of changes, step-by-step before the conversion to the final product. The slowest step in the entire process chain determines the overall reaction rate and is referred to as the rate controlling step. Chemical reactions are either homogeneous (if a single phase is involved) or heterogeneous (if two or more phases are involved). The solid-state reduction of iron oxides is heterogeneous, involving solid and gas phases separated by an interface. For the chemical reactions to occur, the reactants must reach the interface and the products must move away. The movements of reactants and products are affected by several factors any of which can be rate controlling.

RATE CONTROLLING STEPS IN IRON OXIDE REDUCTION


Rate of iron oxide reduction depends on the rates of heat and mass transfer across the gas-flow boundary layer at the outer surface of the solid phase. When the reaction rate is controlled by this factor, it is known as "Boundary Layer Control". Rate of diffusion of reducing gas inwards and product gas outwards through the reduced iron layer can control the rate of reduction. This phenomenon is generally associated with large ore particles, and known as "Gaseous Diffusion Control" or "Iron Pore Control." Chemical reaction at the wustite-iron interface can be rate controlling. In such a case, the rate of reduction per unit area of the remaining iron-oxide surface is found to be constant with time. Mechanism is known as "Interfacial Reaction Control" or "Phase Boundary Reaction Control". When both gaseous diffusion control and interfacial reaction control combine to influence the rate of reduction, the mechanism is referred to as "Mixed Control."

SCHEMATIC OF IRON ORE REDUCTION

REDUCTION OF IRON OXIDES

Topo-chemical type reduction

Partially reduced porous iron oxide

Importance of porosity assessed by microscopic examination of reduced iron oxide. Topo-chemical reduction has three concentric layers magnetite, wustite, metallic iron each layer same shape as outer surface in case of dense oxides. Porous oxides has similar structure in individual particles.

REDUCTION OF IRON OXIDE BY H2 VS. CO

Reduction by hydrogen

Reduction by CO

Initially, reduction by hydrogen is faster than carbon monoxide. Magnetite reduced by hydrogen contains grains of wustite completely enveloped in dense layers of metallic iron. In CO reduction, metallic iron layers consist of almost pure pearlite. Carbon can diffuse very rapidly in austenite so that at the interface between austenite and wustite, carbon is available to complete the reduction. In case of hydrogen, reduction is incomplete. Solid-state diffusion of ferrous iron through wustite much greater than gaseous diffusion of hydrogen or CO through ore particles. Therefore, solid-state diffusion in the stack region is not the rate controlling step in BF ironmaking.

STRUCTURAL CHANGES IN IRON OXIDE REDUCTION


Hematite Magnetite Wustite Metallic iron
In hematite, oxygen atoms arranged in close-packed hexagon structure. In magnetite and wustite, the structure is FCC. In first stage of reduction, oxygen atoms undergo major readjustment. Results in 25% increase in volume, opens-up structure, facilitates redn. During magnetite to wustite transformation, oxygen lattice is unchanged. Iron atoms diffuse to fill vacant sites in lattice; volume change is small. Wustite has variable composition composition changes from equilibrium with magnetite to equilibrium with metallic iron. Nucleation and growth of iron crystals results in shrinkage and large increase in porosity of the metallic phase. Transformation of hematite to magnetite 25% increase in volume. Further, 7-13% increase during transformation to wustite. Followed by shrinkage to metal phase. Total increase in volume during complete reduction of hematite:25-27%. For magnetite ores, no volume increase; 4-5% shrinkage in final product. Explains why reducibility of magnetite is very poor. Often, magnetite first oxidised to hematite and then reduced.

REDUCTION OF METAL OXIDES BY CO

REDUCTION OF IRON OXIDE BY CO

REDUCTION OF IRON OXIDE BY HYDROGEN

Height of BF

BF NOMENCLATURE

ZONES IN A BLAST FURNACE

DETAILS OF THE ZONES


Stack: Wall slopes outwards in downwards direction
Extends from the stock line to the mantle level. In this zone the burden is completely solid. The charge gets heated from 200C at the stock line to 1100-1200C at the bottom of the stack. Most of reduction occurs by gas-solid contact.

Belly: The cylindrical portion below the stack


Metallic burden begins to soften and fuse as it travels.

Bosh: Below the belly and sloping inwards in downwards direction


Burden begins to melt except coke. Gangue and flux combine to form the slag. The furnace walls are either parallel and then taper down, or are entirely tapering down resulting in reduction the sectional area by about 20-25% . This is because of decrease in the apparent volume of the charge.

Tuyere or Combustion Zone: End of slope; parallel walls


Except central column of coke, entire charge is molten. Oxygen of the blast burns coke to CO. Number of combustion zones, in front of each tuyere exists. Thus, there is a runway or race-way in front of each tuyeres which is first horizontal and then becomes vertical while expanding.

Hearth: Below the tuyere region and cylindrical


Some coke descends into hearth to form the deadman. Entire charge is molten and stratifies into slag and metal layers tapped separately.

TUYERE AREA IN A BLAST FURNACE

MECHANISM OF SILICON REDUCTION

CONCEPT OF RAFT
From sensible heat of the flame, its temperature is calculated. This is known as Raceway Adiabatic Flame Temperature (RAFT). Heat content of flame = mass of gas in the flame average specific heat of gas (RAFT 298) Change in Operating Variable Blast temperature raised by 1000C Blast oxygen raised by 1% Blast moisture raised by 5g/Nm3 1% methane added to blast Change in RAFT , 0C +82 +53 -28 -56

PRODUCTIVITY OF BLAST FURNACES


BF productivity is defined as tonnes of hot metal produced per day per cubic metre of inner/working volume. Productivity can be increased by: Screening of solid charges before charging into the furnace to eliminate fines below a certain size Agglomeration of fines by sintering, pelletising Proper top charging device to make the distribution of burden size as uniform as possible in any horizontal section. Use of better quality coke. Use of higher hot blast temperature. Use of oxygen enriched blast. Use of higher top pressure. Use of superior quality iron oxide burden. Improved facilities for metal and slag evacuation.

PRODUCTIVITY AS FUNCTION OF SLAG RATE

ACCEPTABLE COKE FOR BLAST FURNACES


Suitability assessed in terms of: Room temperature strength High temperature strength Chemistry Size Reactivity For blast furnaces in India, acceptable values are: Room temperature strength : M10 7.0 (max.) High temperature strength: CSR 64 (min.), CRI 25 (max.). Chemistry: Ash 15-17% min., Alkali 0.35% max. Size : Suit iron oxide feed. Size at tuyere level? Lower productivity of Indian furnaces essentially on account of poor coke. Emphasis on coke quality.

TYPICAL COST BREAK UP FOR HOT METAL


(1.2%) Fluxes (25.4%) Ore & Scrap

(5.1%) Others (6.2%) Labour & Admn. (2.5%) Maintenance (2.5%) Relining (1.3%) (4.7%) Blowing Refractories cost

(47.4%) Coke

(3.7%) Coal & Tar injection

PART - III SMELTING REDUCTION ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF IRONMAKING

PROGRESSIVE REDUCTION IN BF COKE CONSUMPTION OVER THE YEARS


Year Coke rate, Injectant, kg/thm kg/thm 1950 1965 1970 1980 1000 600 525 500 0 0 50 50 Total reductant, kg/thm 1000 600 575 550 Comments

Lean local ores Rich seaborne ores Oil injection/high blast temperature/ oxygen enrichment High top pressure/burden distribution and permeability control Coal injection/improved sinter coke quality Increased coal/gas/oil injection Continued use of metallics in the burden

1990 2000 2010

400 325 250

125 175 250

525 500 500

DEPENDENCE OF BLAST FURNACES ON COKE


Parameter Coal, kg/thm Coke, kg/thm Total fuel, kg/thm Production, area/ d t/m2 hearth Case A 0 482 482 59.4 1129 30 21 49.2 1487 0.24 Case B 106 376 482 59.2 1141 16 21 50.6 1475 0.27 Case C 149 334 483 61.1 1159 10 22.4 51.0 1478 0.28 Case D 173 305 478 58.8 1177 6 22.4 48.2 1482 0.33

Blast temperature, oC Humidity, g/Nm3 Oxygen in blast, % Gas utilisation, % Hot metal temperature, oC Si in hot metal, %

FORECAST OF TECHNOLOGIES TO BE ADOPTED FOR HOT METAL PRODUCTION


Non-coking coal 100 New SR technologies 75 Fine ore Pellets Lump ore 50 Coking coal Conventional BF route 25 Sinter Pellets Lump ore

2000

YEAR

2025-2030

EMERGING TRENDS IN INPUTS TO IRON/STEELMAKING

Future Recent
Lump ore, sinter, pellets Coke from metallurgical coal and PCI

Conventional

Fine ores

Lump ore

Coke from metallurgical coal Scrap


Scrap SR hot metal using noncoking coal

DRI using NG, non- coking coal

Non-coking coal, NG, synthetic gases

Scrap substitutes

FUNDAMENTALS OF SMELTING REDUCTION


Off-Gas (Critical in economics of all SR processes) Pre-reduction Unit Pre-reduced Ore Smelting Reduction Vessel Pre-Reduction Iron Ore/ Pellets Hot Reducing Gas

Post Combustion Final Reduction Melting Coal Gasification Coal Oxygen/Air Hot Metal

Pre-reduction Degree, Extent of Post Combustion and Heat Transfer Efficiency are critical for success of all SR processes.

RAW MATERIALS USED IN BLAST FURNACES AND IN SMELTING REDUCTION


Process Oxide Feed Reductant Product

Blast furnace Lump ore, Coke, coal, Hot metal including mini sinter, pellets oil, tar, essentially for BOF blast furnace natural gas steelmaking Smelting reduction Ore fines, lump ore, waste iron oxides Coal, oxygen, electricity Hot metal (synthetic hot metal) for EAF / EOF steelmaking

FLOWSHEET OF SINGLE STAGE, TWO STAGE AND THREE STAGE SR PROCESSES


Ore Gas Ore Reduction Coke Reduction and melting DRI Coal Melting Slag Metal O2 Melting Slag Metal O2 Slag Metal Coal Gas DRI Coke Gasification Gas Gas

Ore Coal

Gas

Reduction

O2

Gas

Single stage Two stage

Three stage

SALIENT FEATURES OF SR (1)


SR involves both reduction and smelting, i.e. melting accompanied by chemical reaction(s). In an ideal SR reactor, in the strictest sense, all the reduction reactions should take place in the liquid state in a single step. Any SR process involves the extraction of metal values from the ore following liquid phase reduction by non-coking coal. In actual practice, most SR processes utilise two steps the removal of oxygen from the ore in the solid state to varying extents in step one, followed by removal of the remaining oxygen in liquid phase reduction reactions in step two. Compared with DR processes, the principal advantage of high temperature operation in SR processes is: faster rates of reaction and prevention of sticking problems associated with solid-state reactions (intrinsic in DR processes).

SALIENT FEATURES OF SR (2)


Smelting reduction processes are thus either two-step processes with separate pre-reduction and smelting reduction steps (such as Corex and HIsmelt), Simpler one-step processes involving simultaneous reduction and smelting still not fully proven. All SR processes consume fairly large volumes of coal that generates large amount of export gas, the effective utilisation of the generated by-product gas is extremely important. Generally, the use of export gas makes or breaks the cost structure of SR processes .

SALIENT FEATURES OF SR (3)


Unless the net export gas from any Corex plant can be utilised (extent of generation 1650 Nm3/thm; calorific value 7500KJ/Nm3) the process itself becomes totally uneconomical. If no credit is given to the off- gas, the cost of the hot metal made can be as much as 50% higher than blast furnace hot metal. Adequate credit can be obtained by selling cogenerated electrical power from the Corex off gas. Another use of the export gas is in shaft furnace, DRI production adjacent to the Corex furnace.

REDUCTION STEPS IN SR Reduction by solid carbon Reduction by carbon dissolved in Iron Reduction of molten FeO by CO

REDUCTION OF SLAGS BY SOLID CARBON


A liquid boundary layer is expected to exist on the slag side of the slag / carbon interface, FeO must be transported to the nucleation site in the following manner: FeO (l) + C (s) = Fe (l) + CO (g) FeO (bulk) transported to FeO (slag /gas interface) A halo is formed, after which the following steps come into play: FeO + CO = Fe + CO2 (at gas / slag interface) CO2 (gas /slag interface) transported to CO2 (carbon /gas interface). CO2 + C = 2CO (at carbon / gas interface)CO (carbon / gas interface) transported to CO (gas / slag interface).

REDUCTION OF SLAGS BY CARBON DISSOLVED IN IRON


Taking desulphurisation as an example, a three step mechanism has been proposed: FeS(iron) = FeS (slag) FeS (slag) + CaO (slag) = FeO (slag) + CaS(slag) FeO (slag) + C (iron) = Fe(l) + CO(g)

REDUCTION OF MOLTEN FeO BY CO


Reduction rate of slags is independent of the FeO concentration in the range 67.7 to 48.0%. FeO less than 48%, the reduction is dependent on the fraction reacted and the partial pressure of CO. Reduction rate of iron oxide by CO follows a first order rate law for the reversible reduction of stoichiometric FeO.
The rate equation is: (R / Ao) = exp (-32300 / RT 1.37). (1.0 - 0.7aSiO2). (aFeO. pCO - aFe. pCOk) where, R = Rate constant, mol/cm2 .s Ao = Reaction surface area, cm2 T = Reaction temperature, K The activation energy was determined to be 135 kJ/ mol.

NET ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND GAS CREDIT OF SR PROCESSES vis-a-vis BF


35 30 Energy, GJ/thm 25 20 15 10 5 0 Fastmelt Hismelt Corex Redsmelt Blast Furnace Gas Credit Net Energy

MAJOR SMELTING PROCESSES


Vertical Shafts
MBF Capacity : 30,000-1,125,000 tpa (covers very wide range) Corex 5 operating plants, Capacity : 300,000-900,000 tpa First and leading SR process. Very high volumes of off-gas; some coke often used. Coal properties can be varied over a small range (Indian coal?) Finex Capacity : 1.2-1.5 mtpa. Process development complete. Very promising. Tecnored Capacity : 150,000 tpa. Process still under development

Bath Smelting Processes


HIsmelt Capacity : 600,000-1,200,000 tpa. Process almost ready. Ausmelt Capacity : up to 2.5 mtpa. Process not proven. Romelt Capacity : 200,000-1,000,000 tpa. Russian process with tremendous promise, Rotary Hearth Furnace but no plant despite efforts, including in India and (RHF) Japan ITmk3 Capacity : 0.5 mtpa. Slag separation by partial melting is unique.

RHF Combined with Melting / Smelting

Inmetco Capacity - 60,000 tpa. Suitable for zinc-bearing iron ores. FastMelt 2 operating plants mainly for smelting solid wastes from ISPs. Capacity 150,000-1,000,000 tpa

COMMERCIALISED SR PROCESSES
Corex Many operating units; most popular SR process. Typical iron oxide Lump ore Pellets Sinter
Fetotal Grain size, mm 62 - 65 8 - 20 62 - 65 8 - 16 50 - 55 10 - 30

HIsmelt Nucor, Rio Tinto, Mitsubishi and Shougang (of PR of China) agreed to construct a 0.8 Mtpa plant at Kwinana in Western Australia after pilot plant tests were completed at the same location. The plant had produced more than 37,000 tonnes of hot metal in total till March 2006. Has been stopped thereafter.

FLOW SHEET OF THE COREX PROCESS

SOME KEY FEATURES OF COREX


Is a shaft furnace-based process. It can accept high alkali containing ores without any build-up inside the reactor. Specific melting capacity is higher than in blast furnacesproductivity of the order of 3-3.5 t/m3/d can be achieved. The process is capable of operating at 50-115% of its nominal capacity. It takes only half an hour to stop the plant and four hours to restart it, whenever required. Hot metal quality is comparable with blast furnaces (C=4.04.5%, Si=0.30-0.80%, S=0.02-0.09%, P depends on inputs). It has outstanding environmental superiority in comparison with the blast furnace process in terms of generation of dust, SOx, NOx, phenol, cyanides, etc.

FLOW SHEET OF THE FINEX PROCESS

SOME KEY FEATURES OF FINEX


Posco developed Finex process to utilise iron ore/non-coking coal fines not suitable for charging to their Corex plant. Corex in Posco uneconomical owing to restrictions on coal and iron oxide size (top size and under size). Also, often required 10% coke to ensure hearth permeability. Finex actually able to utilise iron ore in the form of fines. After fluidised bed reduction, fine DRI is hot briquetted before melting in a melter gasifier (similar to Corex). Non-coking coal is also briquetted before use in melter gasifier. Hot metal composition same as BF. Range of complete scale of production yet to be established.

Finex is certainly of interest to ISPs. Whether it can be used to supply limited tonnages of hot metal to EAFs?

FLOW SHEET OF HISMELT PROCESS

HISMELT FLOW OVERVIEW

SOME KEY FEATURES OF HISMELT


Incorporates many BF features hot blast stoves, air blast, etc. Can be single stage process; better, with separate pre-reduction. Pre-reduction of iron oxide and oxygen enrichment of hot air (1200C) blast provide substantial productivity enhancement. Hot metal contains 4.3 0.15% carbon, phosphorus and silicon levels are extremely low viz. < 0.05% P and <0.05 Si%. Process can use high phosphorus iron ore can be of significance in India since many Indian ores have high phos. Coals with 50-70% FC, 10-38% VM and 5-12% ash have been used in Pilot/Demo plant. Typical coal rate reported 640-690 kg/thm. Utilisation of export gas not as critical as in the case of processes like Corex on account of in-bath smelting. Hot metal production economics under Indian conditions still not proven. Demo plant not proven on sustained basis at full capacity.

PROCESS FLOW SHEET OF ITmk3

SOME KEY FEATURES OF ITmk3


First step produces iron nuggets in a very short reduction time (10-12 min) along with some slag removal in a RHF. High-purity iron nuggets contain 96-97% iron and 2.5-3.0% C, 0.05 S, i.e. nearly same composition as blast furnace pig iron. Coal consumption reported to be 500 kg/t nuggets. The process is flexible as far as the type of iron ore that can be used. Magnetite, haematite as well as pellets made of taconite (low-grade iron ore found in USA) have been processed. Emits at least 20% less carbon dioxide than blast furnaces. Overall less NOx, SOx and particulate matter emissions. Easy start-up, shut down and change in production rate.

Over last 10-12 years has gone through laboratory, small pilot plant and demonstration plant testing. Nuggets melted in EAFs. A commercial plant (0.5 mtpa) Mesabi Nuggets at North-Eastern Minnesota, USA has been started. Could be of immense interest to Indian Secondary Producers in future.

SUMMARY OF SMELTING REDUCTION


SR designates processes in which iron oxide is reduced at high temperature to liquid iron essentially using non-coking coal and oxygen. SR processes utilise several distinct thermo-chemical configurations. In all SR processes, a substantial portion of the iron oxide charged enters into the slag phase and is reduced by solid carbon particles, gaseous CO, and carbon dissolved in iron. SR reactions are by nature quite complex major reasons are elevated temperature, multiple phases and intense bath turbulence. It is essential to optimise post-combustion ratio (PCR), degree of pre-reduction, and heat transfer efficiency (HTE).
Ideal SR process should be of single-stage configuration to recover iron from iron ore directly through liquid phase reduction.

Ironmaking

BF and SR

THANK YOU
IIT, Kharagpur, 26th October 2010