Fe Alloys: Production and Metallurgical Aspects: Part II

JOM, Dec 2016

Dean Gregurek, Zhiwei Peng, Christine Wenzl, Jesse F. White

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Fe Alloys: Production and Metallurgical Aspects: Part II

JOM Fe Alloys: Production and Metallurgical Aspects: Part II DEAN GREGUREK 0 ZHIWEI PENG 0 CHRISTINE WENZL 0 JESSE F. WHITE 0 0 1.-Technology Center Leoben, RHI AG , Magnesitstrasse 2, 8700 Leoben , Austria. 2.-School of Minerals Processing and Bioengineering, Central South University , Changsha 410083, Hunan, China. 3.-RHI AG, Wienerbergstrasse 9, 1100 Vienna, Austria. 4.-Elkem Carbon AS, 4675 Kristiansand, Norway. 5.- - The present JOM topic is the sequel to the Ferroalloys topic of December 2016. Due to the large number of high-quality articles submitted, we decided to follow the example of many successful movies and novels, namely—providing you with Part II. In this issue, you will find interesting updates from the world of ferroalloy production, ranging from furnace technology to production processes. In addition, contributions concerning Minor Elements can be found in the Technical Communications section of this issue. The history of metallurgy dates back to medieval and even ancient times. We have come a long way since the belief that everything consists of the four elements, Earth, Water, Wind and Fire, but today’s metallurgists and furnace operators still have to deal with unexplained effects and are continuously striving for furnace and process improvements. Every metal producer and every operator has its own special philosophy and recipe to reach the desired outcome, partly based on knowledge, partly on (unexplainable) ‘‘magic’’. For the alchemists and sorcerers in medieval times (and numerous novels, movies and computer games), it was all about choosing the right cauldron, magic ingredients, and right magic spell. Today, it is all about choosing the suitable furnace and slag and knowing how to operate the process. Generally, the standard ferroalloy production processes are well established and have been used for many decades and even centuries. However, there is still room for optimization, e.g., regarding energy consumption and further adjustments that are sought for because of changing conditions, e.g., increasing production and supply of fine ores. Dean Gregurek, Zhiwei Peng, and Jesse White are the JOM advisors for the Pyrometallurgy Committee of the TMS Structural Materials Division, and guest editors for the topic Fe Alloys: Production and Metallurgical Aspects: Part II in this issue. The first article in this topic, ‘‘ESS Smelting Technology’’ by Lourens Jacobus Erasmus and Louis J. Fourie, describes a novel furnace technology that combines fossil fuel pre-heating and solid state reduction in a single furnace to enable production of molten metal and slag, with only a minimum amount of electrical energy through optimization of thermal energy consumption. This technology is applicable to direct smelting of fine ores without or with minimal input material preparation. The ESS technology provides a competitive opportunity to minimize electrical energy consumption during smelting processes using various ores. A pilot ESS furnace is being constructed at Mintek to validate the process as well as the equipment design parameters for full development of this technology for selected applications. In the next article, entitled, ‘‘Considerations for scale-up of ferronickel electric smelting furnaces,’’ Rodney Hundermark and Lloyd Nelson propose common trends and some new metrics for the scale-up of nickel laterite smelting operations for FeNi production. The optimal process needs a fine balance between the metallurgical requirements of the process (i.e., feed composition, nickel recovery, energy consumption and product quality) and the capabilities of the feeding, tapping and off-gas systems, and especially of the furnace crucible and electrical system. The scale-up of nickel laterite smelting operations over the last 50 years has witnessed a tenfold increase in furnace power input. The present study incorporates the combination of electrode power densities and the impact of alloy nickel grade on gas generation rates, and hence local electrode gas fluxes, which may have an impact on the future scale-up of FeNi furnaces. Direct current (DC) arc furnace smelting is still regarded as a new technology, even though it is not that new any more. However, many companies still scale furnaces for other ores. The furnace interior after the experiment with Mn-nodules is similar to that after HC FeMn experiments with other Mn sources, such as Comilog ore. During the experiments, it was found that the MnO reduction occurs mainly on the top of the cokebed (high-temperature area) where Mn nodules melt into a liquid phase and a solid MnO phase. The slag was tapped close to the liquidus composition, which is linearly dependent on the basicity, described as [B = (CaO + MgO)/(SiO2 + Al2O3)]. The last article in this topic, ‘‘Airborne Emissions from Si/FeSi Production’’ by Ida Teresia Kero et al., provides a comprehensive literature review on current knowledge developed in, and relevant to, the Si and FeSi production industry. The article is primarily based on information available in the open literature but also in some previously unpublished reports of utmost relevance to the topics. It contains state-of the-art overviews for gaseous and particle-bound airborne emissions. Relevant technological aspects for the control and reduction of greenhouse gases, nitrogen oxides, polyaromatic hydrocarbons, heavy metals and particulate matter are introduced in the article. The following papers being published under the topic of Fe Alloys: Production and Metallurgical Aspects: Part II provide excellent details and research on the subject. To download any of the papers, follow the url: http://link.springer.com/jour nal/11837/69/2/page/1 to the table of contents page for the February 2017 issue (vol. 69, no. 2). ‘‘ESS Smelting Technology’’ by L.J. Erasmus and L.J. Fourie. ‘‘Considerations for Scale-Up of Ferronickel Electric Smelting Furnaces’’ by R.J. Hundermark and L.R. Nelson. ‘‘The Exact Art and Subtle Science of DC Smelting: Practical Perspectives on the Hot Zone’’ by I.J. Geldenhuys. ‘‘Computational Modelling of Arc–Slag Interaction in DC Furnaces’’ by Quinn G. Reynolds. ‘‘Pilot Scale Production of Manganese Ferroalloys Using Heat Treated Mn-Nodules’’ by Merete Tangstad, Eli Ringdalen, Edmundo Manilla, and Daniel Davila. ‘‘Airborne Emissions from Si/FeSi Production’’ by Ida Kero, Svend Gra˚ dahl, and Gabriella Tranell.

This is a preview of a remote PDF: https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007%2Fs11837-016-2212-7.pdf

Dean Gregurek, Zhiwei Peng, Christine Wenzl, Jesse F. White. Fe Alloys: Production and Metallurgical Aspects: Part II, JOM, 2017, 323-324, DOI: 10.1007/s11837-016-2212-7