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Pilot plant slated for a H2-based process to make DRI from iron-ore fines

By Gerald Ondrey |

The use of direct reduced iron (DRI; sponge iron) and hot briquetted iron (HBI) is expected to continue to grow due to the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the growing number of electric arc furnaces (EAFs) in service worldwide. Currently, all available technologies require agglomeration, like pelletizing, to produce DRI or HBI. An additional challenge that steel producers face is the lower quality of iron ore, resulting in the need to beneficiate the iron ores. In order to progress to CO2-free steel production, a process using mainly H2 is most desirable. These considerations are all taken care of by a new process developed by Primetals Technologies, Ltd. (London, U.K.; www.primetals.com). The new process is said to be the world’s first direct-reduction (DR) process for iron-ore concentrates from ore beneficiation not requiring any preprocessing, like sintering or pelletizing. The new technology can be applied to all types of beneficiated ore and particle sizes of 100% smaller than 0.15 mm. As primary reduction agent, the new process uses H2 from renewable energy or, alternatively, H2-rich gases from conventional steam reformers or H2-rich waste gases. This results in a low- or even a zero-CO2 footprint. The DR plant…
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