Conditions for making direct reduced iron, transition direct reduced iron and pig iron nuggets in a laboratory furnace - Temperature-time transformations

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Department of Chemical Engineering


The pig iron nugget process is gaining in importance as an alternative to the traditional blast furnace. Throughout the process, self-reducing-fluxing dried greenballs composed of iron ore concentrate, reducing-carburizing agent (coal), flux (limestone) and binder (bentonite) are heat-treated. During the heat treatment, dried greenballs are first transformed into direct reduced iron (DRI), then to transition direct reduced iron (TDRI) and finally to pig iron nuggets. The furnace temperature and/or residence time and the corresponding levels of carburization, reduction and metallization dictate these transformations. This study involved the determination of threshold furnace temperatures and residence times for completion of all of the transformation reactions and pig iron nugget production. The experiments involved the heat treatment of self-reducing-fluxing dried greenballs at various furnace temperatures and residence times. The products of these heat treatments were identified by utilizing optical microscopy, apparent density and microhardness measurements.

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Minerals and Metallurgical Processing