Development of Smelting Reduction Processes for Ironmaking Mar08

Development of Smelting Reduction Processes for Ironmaking...

Development of Smelting Reduction Processes for Ironmaking Smelting reduction (SR) processes are the most recent development in the production technology of hot metal (liquid iron). These processes combine the gasification of non-coking coal with the melt reduction of iron ore. Energy intensity of SR processes is lower than that of blast furnace (BF), since the production of coke is not needed and the need for preparation of iron ore is also reduced. SR ironmaking process was conceived in the late 1930s. The history of the development of SR processes goes back to the 1950s. The laboratory scale fundamental studies on the SR of iron ore were started first by Dancy in 1951. However, serious efforts started from 1980 onwards. There have been two separate lines of development of primary ironmaking technology during the second half of twentieth century. The first line of development was centred on the BF which remained the principal process unit for the hot metal production. In general, this line of the development did not encompass any radical process changes in the furnace itself. It proceeded through a gradual evolution which involved (i) increase in the furnace size, (ii) improvement in the burden preparation, (iii) increase in the top pressure, (iv) increase of hot blast temperature, (v) bell-less charging and improvements in burden distribution, (vi) improvements in refractories and cooling systems, (vii) injection of auxiliary fuels (fuel gas, liquid fuel, or pulverized coal) and enrichment of hot air blast with oxygen (O2), and (viii) application of automation as well as improvements in instrumentation and control technology. The continued success of the ironmaking in BF reflects the very high levels of thermal and chemical efficiencies which can be achieved during the production of hot metal and the consequent cost advantages. In fact,...