Shrinking-core model for pig iron nugget production

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Department of Chemical Engineering


Considerable effort has been directed towards understanding the carbothermic reduction mechanisms of self-reducing, fluxing dried green balls to produce pig iron nuggets. Given the geometry of the situation, some investigators believed that the shrinking core model was applicable. Hence, this study involved investigation of the applicability of the shrinking core model to pig iron nugget production. The experiments involved heat treatment of dried green balls utilizing either a laboratory-scale resistance box furnace or a gas-fired muffle furnace at various furnace temperatures and residence times. The products were analyzed for the following: (i) preferred reaction pattern, (ii) distribution of the metallized areas, (iii) % iron content variation in the pig iron nuggets from surface to center, (iv) carburization pattern and (v) physical and chemical properties of the pig iron nuggets. It was determined that the reduction of iron oxide occurred simultaneously throughout the sample and not beginning at the surface and propagating inward; thus the shrinking-core model was not applicable. Heat transfer and gas diffusion from surface to center were not the rate-limiting steps for reduction and carburization reactions.

Publication Title

Minerals and Metallurgical Processing