Effects of Temperature on Vacuum Carbothermic Reduction of Panzhihua Ilmenite Concentrate
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The vacuum carbothermic reduction of ilmenite concentrate was analyzed using SEM, EDS, and XRD, in combination with analysis of the Fe metallization rate. Results show that increasing the reduction temperature favors ilmenite reduction. At a reduction temperature of 1400°C, the Fe metallization rate reaches up to 97.15%. Increasing the reduction temperature is conducive to the reduction of Fe and Ti from a high to low state of matter. The microstructure of the reduced sample is divided into gray, graywhite, and white contrasts. The gray-white contrast comprises metallic Fe that contains small amounts of Si. An increase in reduction temperature enhances the generation, gathering, and growth of the graywhite contrast. Fe is the predominant component in the gray contrast, while Ti, O, and Mg are distributed throughout the gray contrast, which is a Ti-rich material phase. Fe is restored to the metallic Fe state. Small amounts of reduced Si and Fe combine to form a ferrosilicon alloy.
The authors are especially grateful to the Natural and Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 51404080), the Foundation of Science & Technology Department of Guizhou Province, China (Guizhou Grant J Word No.  2073), and the Doctor founding of Guizhou University (Guizhou University J Word No.  37).
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