Russian metallurgists develop a unique furnace

Louise Smyth

More than 95% of cast-iron in the world is still produced in blast furnaces. Modern blast furnaces are powerful units that produce tons of cast-iron daily, but they require prepared, high-quality raw materials like agglomerate cakes, steel pellets, and iron. Recycling industrial waste that contains iron (of which Russian enterprises alone produce more than 5 million tons of annually) is economically and technologically irresponsible and next-to-impossible in blast furnaces.

A NUST MISIS research group led by Gennady Podgorodetskyi, a Candidate of Technical Sciences and the head of the NUST MISIS Research & Education Center IMT, jointly with Vtoraluminumproduct, one of the University`s industrial partners, have created and launched a unique pilot unit of an airlift reactor (based on a gas purging approach) for the effective and environmentally-friendly production of iron and non-ferrous metal concentrates from waste sludge.

Hundreds of millions of tons of waste in the form of sludge, dust, cinder, etc. accumulates annually as a result of the chemical industry's metallurgy work with ferrous and non-ferrous metals. This waste contains large amounts of metal that isn't currently extracted because of a lack of effective industrial technologies capable of separating its useful components out.

The new innovative blast developed at NUST MISIS is built on an airlift approach and the technological processes are carried out in a liquid slag bath blown by gas. The bubbles formed greatly speed up the chemical processes in the bath, and aggressively mix the iron liquid and slag.


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