Sponge Iron from Magnetite – A Novel Process Developed In India
New Delhi (India), October 12: With India eyeing record Steel exports in FY22, the Indian Steel Industry is quickly becoming hot property. Along with it, Sponge Iron, one of the essential raw materials used in steel productions, is bound to have a growing domestic demand. Accompanied by rising coal prices, there is tremendous room for technological and market development to adequately satisfy the expected demand.
At such a stage, a novel process to produce high quality sponge iron that matches international standards has been developed by Subhanjan Mohanty, Founder of Involute Metal Powders. With 40 years of experience as a Chief Consultant in the Indian metallurgical industry, and numerous patents, he has pioneered the technological development of various ferrous and non-ferrous metal powders.
Sponge Iron production usually employs the DRI Process, undertaking solid state reduction of hematite ores with equal proportions of coal. This is brought about by the use of a coal fired Rotary Kiln, with the environmental impact of the entire process putting Sponge Iron plants under ‘Red Category’ industries. These industries generally have a high pollution potential, alongside a risk of numerous health hazards. The use of Electrostatic Precipitators can subdue the environmental effect, although not to the required extent.
Involute Metal Powders, in their latest technological development, have created a process that reduces the coal usage, subsequently reducing the environmental impact. This is done by using a tunnel kiln, instead of the usual rotary kiln, making it a one of its kind static bed process in India. The coal usage drops by up to 85% for each cycle, resulting in a smokeless, eco-friendly operation.
The process also switches over the raw material from hematite, to magnetite, which contains much higher amount of pure iron at 72.4%. Magnetite ores comprise more than 30% of the India’s iron ore deposits, which are heavily underutilized. Offering the highest iron recovery, magnetite sponge iron can be a revolutionary turn in the Indian metallurgical industry, shares Soumitra Mohanty, the executor of the success trials of the above project.
India has been the largest producer of sponge iron globally, since 2003. Since 2014, India’s contribution to the sponge iron has crossed 25%. With this strong global performance, and the massive effect of the Steel Industry on the Indian and global economies, the powder metallurgical industry is gaining ground. Novel processes such as this one by Involute Metal Powders, will definitely continue to support and strengthen the industry.
Highlights of the Process are:-
- Utilizing Magnetite Iron are that comprises 36% of our countries Iron ore deposits and has not been able to find quantitative usages so far.
- Using only 10-15 % coal against equal Proportion of Iron ore and Coal.
- Complete smokeless operation.
- Eco-friendly Process.
- Highest degree of Iron recovery.
- Minimum cost of production.
- Lower investment compared to Rotary Kiln Process.
- Return of Investment within 1 year compared to 3 to 4 years of Rotary kiln process.
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