The effect of carbonaceous reductant selection on chromite pre-reduction
Van Zyl, P.G.
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Ferrochrome (FeCr) production is an energy-intensive process. Currently, the pelletized chromite pre-reduction process, also referred to as solid-state reduction of chromite, is most likely the FeCr production process with the lowest specific electricity consumption, i.e., MWh/t FeCr produced. In this study, the effects of carbonaceous reductant selection on chromite pre-reduction and cured pellet strength were investigated. Multiple linear regression analysis was employed to evaluate the effect of reductant characteristics on the aforementioned two parameters. This yielded mathematical solutions that can be used by FeCr producers to select reductants more optimally in future. Additionally, the results indicated that hydrogen (H)- (24 pct) and volatile content (45.8 pct) were the most significant contributors for predicting variance in pre-reduction and compressive strength, respectively. The role of H within this context is postulated to be linked to the ability of a reductant to release H that can induce reduction. Therefore, contrary to the current operational selection criteria, the authors believe that thermally untreated reductants (e.g., anthracite, as opposed to coke or char), with volatile contents close to the currently applied specification (to ensure pellet strength), would be optimal, since it would maximize H content that would enhance pre-reduction