Metso Outotec is introducing the next generation of its Circored process for direct reduction of iron ore fines using hydrogen.
The process uses hydrogen as a reducing agent instead of CO produced from fossil fuels producing highly metalised DRI (direct reduced iron) or HBI (hot briquetted iron) that can directly be used as feed material in electric arc furnaces for carbon-free steelmaking. The Circored process is based on the extensive fluidised bed knowledge and experience developed and applied by Metso Outotec over decades in hundreds of plants for different applications.
The process applies a two-stage reactor configuration with a circulating fluidised bed (CFB) followed by a bubbling fluidised bed (FB) downstream. The typical plant capacity is 1.25 million tonnes/year per line. Two or more lines can be combined using joint facilities and utility areas. The produced DRI is briquetted to HBI to enable further handling and safe transport.
Circored plant can be integrated into an existing steelmaking facility to improve energy efficiency by direct hot feeding of the DRI to an electric arc furnace. The process eliminates the need for costly and energy-intensive pelletising, and its functionality and performance have been proven in an industrial-scale demonstration plant.
The process can handle feeds with a particle size of up to 2 mm, with the possibility of sizes of up to 6 mm. For processing ultrafine (< 50 µm) ores or process reverts like scrubber dust, Metso Outotec has patented a simple microgranulation process.