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...

Direct Reduced Iron

Direct Reduced Iron Direct reduced iron (DRI) is also known as sponge iron. It is produced by the reduction of iron ore (in the form of lumps or pellets) by either non-coking coal or a reducing gas produced by reforming of natural gas. The reducing gas can also be produced by the gasification of coal. The reducing gas is normally a mixture. The majority gases in this mixture are hydrogen (H2) and carbon mono oxide (CO). These gases act as reducing agents. The reduction process is conducted at high temperature but substantially below the melting point of iron. Since the reduction reaction takes place in solid state, the lump or pellet retain their original shape, but are considerably lighter due to the removal of the oxygen from the ore. Hence the produced direct reduced iron has a highly porous structure. This porous structure gives DRI an appearance of a sponge and because of it, DRI is also known as sponge iron. Iron content in the DRI is in two forms. One is in metallic form which is known as metallic iron, Fe (M), and the second form is iron present in residual iron oxides, Fe (O). The total iron Fe (T) in DRI is the sum of these two iron components. Metallic iron is the aggregate quantity of iron, either free or combined with carbon (as cementite) present in DRI. Metallization of DRI is a measure of the conversion of iron oxides into metallic iron (either free or in combination with carbon as cementite) by removal of oxygen due to the action of the reductant used. Degree of metallization of DRI is the extent of conversion of iron oxide into metallic iron during reduction. It is defined in percentage of the mass of metallic iron divided by the mass of...