Steel in Translation

, Volume 47, Issue 12, pp 772–776 | Cite as

Formation of Metallic Phase on Reducing-Gas Injection in Multicomponent Oxide Melt. Part 3. Separation of Ferronickel and Oxide Melt

  • A. S. Vusikhis
  • L. I. Leont’ev
  • V. P. Chentsov
  • D. Z. Kudinov
  • E. N. Selivanov


Using the equations of physicochemical hydrodynamics and experimental results regarding the surface and interphase properties of metallic and oxide melts, the conditions in which metallic phase is formed in the bubbling of carbon monoxide through molten oxidized nickel ore are described. The critical dimensions of the gas bubble ( and the metal droplet ( moving in oxide melt without change in size are determined in the range 1550–1750°C. It is found that increases slightly from 6.35 × 10–2 m at 1550°C to 6.58 × 10–2 m at 1750°C. With change in the droplet composition and the temperature, varies from 2.1 × 10–3 to 2.9 × 10–3 m. The dimensions of the metal droplet formed at a single bubble during the reduction of nickel and iron from oxide melt are determined. As the content of nickel and iron oxides in the melt decreases with increase in the overall CO consumption, the nickel content in the ferronickel droplets falls from 89 to 18%, while the droplet diameter decreases from 1.4 × 10–3 to 8.0 × 10–4 m. The droplet mass falls correspondingly from 9.4 × 10–5 to 1.6 × 10–5 kg. The conditions in which the bubble–droplet system rises through the melt are determined. Over the whole range of temperature and Ni content, the bubble–droplet system begins to rise through the oxide melt when rd/Rb is less than 0.68–0.78. To assess the stability of the bubble–droplet system, with the given bubble and droplet dimensions, the parameters determining their joint motion are calculated. It is found that breakaway of the metal droplet from the bubble is not possible in pyrometallurgical systems. The formation of metal phase as a result of the bubbling of carbon monoxide through the oxide melt is described. In this process, the interaction of the oxide melt with the gas is accompanied by the formation of metal droplets, which become attached to the surface of gas bubbles and move to the surface of the oxide melt. Metal with 80–90% Ni is formed at first. With decrease in the nickel content in the oxide melt, its content in the metal declines to 20%. At the surface of the oxide melt, the metal droplets coalesce. When their diameter is greater than 5 × 10–3 m, they break away from the surface and fall to the bottom. If the falling drop collides with ascending bubble–droplet systems, they may coalesce with it or flow around it. On coalescence, the small droplets will be assimilated and rise to the surface. The breakaway force of the droplet from the bubble significantly exceeds the gravitational force on the droplet. Therefore, the bubble–droplet system is stable for all the size ratios considered.


metallic phase oxide melt reducing gas bubbling gas bubbles metal droplet coalescence critical dimensions surface properties interphase tension segregation coagulation 


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© Allerton Press, Inc. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. S. Vusikhis
    • 1
  • L. I. Leont’ev
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
  • V. P. Chentsov
    • 1
  • D. Z. Kudinov
    • 1
  • E. N. Selivanov
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of Metallurgy, Ural BranchRussian Academy of SciencesYekaterinburgRussia
  2. 2.Presidium of the Russian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  3. 3.Baikov Institute of Metallurgy and Materials ScienceRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  4. 4.Moscow Institute of Steel and AlloysMoscowRussia

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