Interactions of circulating elements in the ironmaking blast furnace
Elements with low melting temperature and high vapour pressures may cause serious detrimental effects on an industrial process, when they are exposed to high temperatures and reacting environment. Alkali metals of potassium and sodium, and zinc within ironmaking blast furnace are good examples, which have caused complex problems due to their circulating nature and active interactions with coke, ferrous burden and refractory linings within the reactor. The current project aims at fundamental studies on the recirculating nature, and interacting behaviour among themselves and with the charged solid materials (coke and ferrous burden) under high temperature reducing environment. The research will be focused on the effects of these circulating elements on the softening and melting behaviour of the ferrous burden (pellets and sinter) and their interactions with coke, deep inside the packed-bed of the blast furnace. The experimental results from a specially designed blast furnace simulator (RSM) at TU Delft will be analysed systematically, and a comprehensive model for the recirculating behaviour of the volatile elements and their harmful effects will be constructed. The experimental and modelling results are expected to broaden the raw materials flexibility and lead to lower energy consumption and environmental footprint for blast furnace ironmaking.