Use of Banded Hematite Quartzite (BHQ) in Blast Furnace for Partial Replacement of Quartzite
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Hot metal produced through blast furnace (BF) route is still the most preferred route in majority of the steel industries. In the blast furnace operation, quartzite is used as flux to adjust the desired slag chemistry and basicity (B2 of 1–1.08) to achieve optimum slag properties such as low liquidus temperature, high Sulphur carrying capacity and low viscosity. This paper describes the investigations carried out at JSW Steel Ltd to identify alternate sources of silica other than quartzite for use as flux in BF to maintain the desired slag chemistry for smooth operation and cost reduction. Banded hematite quartzite (BHQ) ore available in Karnataka region contains 28–33% Fe, 45–46% silica, 1.3–1.5% alumina and is found suitable for use as partial replacement for quartzite in blast furnaces. Mineralogy and phase analysis of BHQ reveals alternate bands of hematite and silica whereas in lump ore, hematite and silica are uniformly distributed. This phase distribution and reducibility index of BHQ (~66%) affect the softening start temperature by forming fayalite (2FeO·SiO2) as primary slag. Fines generations are found to be comparatively higher (from 6.3 to 6.4%) but in acceptable range. The Fe content in the BHQ also contributes to the overall Fe input to the furnace favoring an option to reduce the equivalent amount of iron bearing materials in the charge. Plant trials at JSW steel blast furnace #4, indicate an improvement in overall operational performance resulting in increased Fe input per charge, reduction in slag rate by 8 kg/thm due to low alumina input and easier achievement of final slag chemistry.
KeywordsBlast furnace Flux Banded hematite quartzite Slag
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