“Hydrogen meets future steelmaking - Applied methods and achieved results for the investigation of the kinetics of iron ore reduction with hydrogen at Montanuniversität Leoben” 

The EU commission has committed to fulfil the targets of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction in 2050 by 80 % in comparison to the level of 1990. The steel companies in EU28 are taking the challenge to secure the steel production in Europe and have launched innovation projects for CO2 mitigation with the focus on the technological pathways Carbon Direct Avoidance (CDA) and Smart Carbon Usage (SCU).

The CDA pathway mainly concentrates on the development of processes to produce steel from virgin ores without the direct release of carbon emissions. The technologies in the field of CDA use renewable electricity and/or hydrogen produced from renewable electricity to produce steel. Regarding hydrogen-based metallurgy, iron ore can be reduced in the solid state (direct reduction technology) or in the liquid state (plasma smelting reduction). The Chair of Ferrous Metallurgy at the Montanuniversität Leoben is member of consortia of different research projects for the use of hydrogen as reducing agent to produce metallic iron from iron ore for CO2 free steelmaking.

A research focus in the recent years in Leoeben was the kinetic behaviours of different iron ore fines during hydrogen-induced fluidized bed reduction. These were studied by using an approach which is based on the model designed by Johnson, Mehl and Avrami. The treatment of iron ores to improve the fluidization and reducibility were investigated too and possible process concepts for a successful treatment were developed. For that purpose, laboratory fluidized bed reduction experiments with different fluidized bed reactors were carried out in combination with morphological investigations of the raw materials as well as the reduced samples after reduction.

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