Metso Outotec Launches 100 pct Hydrogen-Based Process for Fine Ore Reduction
Finding new solutions to decarbonize the steelmaking value chain is a must for the industry to become fossil-free and to help limit global warming to 1.5°C. To support the efforts, Metso Outotec is introducing the next generation of its CircoredTM process for the direct reduction of iron ore fines. The process uses hydrogen as a reducing agent instead of CO produced from fossil fuels.
- We are very excited about the CircoredTM process. It is an emissions- and cost-efficient alternative to traditional steelmaking routes. This innovative process eliminates the need for costly and energy-intensive pelletizing, and its functionality and performance have been proven in an industrial-scale demonstration plant. Now our team of experts has evolved the process further, and we will present the updated technology at the 2021 Dubai Steel & Raw Materials Hybrid Conference on December 8th. Additionally, during the first quarter of 2022, we will be revealing further ground-breaking additions to CircoredTM capabilities, explains Attaul Ahmad, Vice President, Ferrous and Heat Transfer at Metso Outotec.
Process based on extensive knowledge
The CircoredTM process applies a two-stage reactor configuration with a circulating fluidized bed (CFB) followed by a bubbling fluidized bed (FB) downstream. The typical plant capacity is 1.25 Mt/y per line. Two or more lines can be combined using joint facilities and utility areas. In stand-alone plants, the produced DRI is briquetted to HBI to enable further handling and safe transport.
If a CircoredTM plant is integrated into an existing steelmaking facility, energy efficiency can be further increased by direct hot feeding of the DRI to an electric arc furnace.
As a general rule, the CircoredTM process can handle feeds with a particle size of up to 2 mm, the company says. However, depending on the decrepitation behavior, particle sizes of up to 6 mm are possible. For processing ultrafine (< 50 µm) ores or process reverts like scrubber dust, Metso Outotec has patented a simple microgranulation process.
Benefits in brief
- No fossil fuels required for reduction of fines, 100% hydrogen based
- Energy-intensive and costly pelletizing step is eliminated
- HBI or DRI can be fed directly to an electric arc furnace, improving energy efficiency
- Proven performance in industrial-scale demonstration plant using established fluidized bed process
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