Hydrogen Plasma Smelting Reduction of Fe2O3
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The paper reports successful smelting reduction of iron ore (hematite) in thermal hydrogen plasma. A specially designed reactor with water cooled copper crucible and a plasma torch was used to demonstrate the process in 1-kg scale. The number of stoichiometric requirement of hydrogen is a better parameter, instead of time, for determining the rate of the process. This parameter, along with the degree of reduction, is also helpful to determine the degree of hydrogen utilization. The ratio of the height of the molten bath to the diameter of the reactor is found to be an important parameter for effective hydrodynamics and the resultant degree of reduction. This is also an important parameter for scaling up of the process.
The authors are thankful to the Ministry of Steel, Govt. of India to fund the research studies behind this innovative work and also express gratitude to the Director, CSIR-IMMT, Bhubaneswar for his kind and extended support and active participation throughout the research work.
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