A Review on the Kinetics of Iron Ore Reduction by Hydrogen


A clean energy revolution is occurring across the world. As iron and steelmaking have a tremendous impact on the amount of CO2 emissions, there is an increasing attraction towards improving the green footprint of iron and steel production. Among reducing agents, hydrogen has shown a great potential to be replaced with fossil fuels and to decarbonize the steelmaking processes. Although hydrogen is in great supply on earth, extracting pure H2 from its compound is costly. Therefore, it is crucial to calculate the partial pressure of H2 with the aid of reduction reaction kinetics to limit the costs. This review summarizes the studies of critical parameters to determine the kinetics of reduction. The variables considered were temperature, iron ore type (magnetite, hematite, goethite), H2/CO ratio, porosity, flow rate, the concentration of diluent (He, Ar, N2 ), gas utility, annealing before reduction, and pressure. In fact, increasing temperature, H2/CO ratio, hydrogen flow rate and hematite percentage in feed leads to a higher reduction rate. In addition, the controlling kinetics models and the impact of the mentioned parameters on them investigated and compared, concluding chemical reaction at the interfaces and diffusion of hydrogen through the iron oxide particle are the most common kinetics controlling models.

Funding source: This research was funded by Business Finland as a part of the Towards Fossil-free Steel (FFS) research program, grant number 45774/31/2020. This research is a part of the CLEAN2STEEL project that benefits from the financial and strategic support of the Kvantum Institute.
Related subjects: Applications & Pathways

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