Midrex Process for Direct Reduction of Iron Ore Apr09

Midrex Process for Direct Reduction of Iron Ore...

Midrex Process for Direct Reduction of Iron Ore Midrex is an ironmaking process, developed for the production of direct reduced iron (DRI). It is a gas-based shaft furnace process is a solid state reduction process which reduces iron ore pellets or lump ore into DRI without their melting using reducing gas generally formed from natural gas. The principle of the reduction process using reducing gas is shown in Fig 1. Fig 1 Principle of reduction process using reducing gas The history of the Midrex process goes back to 1966 when Donald Beggs of the Surface Combustion Corporation conceives the idea for the Midrex direct reduction process.  The original process was developed by the Midland-Ross Co., which later became Midrex Technologies, Inc. It is now a wholly owned subsidiary of Kobe Steel. A pilot plant was built in Toledo, Ohio in 1967. The first commercial plant, having a production capacity of 150,000 tons per year, was built in Portland, Oregon, in 1969. The genius of the Midrex process is its simplicity. Donald Beggs’ concept of combining stoichiometric natural gas reforming with shaft furnace direct reduction of iron ore was a breakthrough innovation which has stood the test of time. Since 1969, DRI production through Midrex process has crossed 500 million tons. Production from many of the Midrex plants exceeds their design capacity. Each year since 1987, DRI production through Midrex process is over 60 % of the total global production of DRI. The process was immature in 1978, when Kobe Steel began the construction of a plant with a production capacity of 400,000 tons/year in the State of Qatar. Kobe Steel significantly modified the design, exploiting the company’s technologies developed through blast furnace operation, and stabilized the then new process. On the other hand, Midrex...