Direct smelting process for stainless steel crude alloy recovery from mixed low-grade chromite, nickel laterite and manganese ores
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Stainless steel crude alloy recovery from direct smelting of low-grade chromite, nickel laterite and manganese ores was investigated. The mixed low-grade ores were directly smelted in an elevator furnace at smelting temperatures ranging from 1550 to 1600 °C. Smelting experiments were conducted in a laboratory elevator furnace equipped with 8 U-shaped high-quality molybdenum disilicide heating elements. A low-grade coal was used as the reductant. Experimental results showed that the recovery of Fe, Cr, Ni, Mn and Si within the alloy increased from 34.22, 60.27, 57.14, 25.42 and 13.02% to 69.91, 99.26, 86.02, 60.8 and 34.21%, respectively, when the temperature was increased from 1550 to 1600 °C. There was a general increase in the total recoveries of Fe, Cr, and Ni in the alloy with CaO addition increasing from 0.4 g up to 1.2 g. However, the recoveries of Mn and Si vividly decreased as the CaO contents were increased. In general, the recoveries of the metal contents of the crude alloy increase with the increase in the amount of manganese ore. Compared to the recoveries of Fe, Cr, and Ni when CaO was added, the recoveries of Fe, Cr and Ni were lower when manganese ore was used as an additive.
KeywordsDirect smelting Flux Nickel laterite ore Chromite ore Manganese ore Reductant Low-grade coal Stainless steel crude alloy
The study was financially aided by Engineering Research and Development for Technology (ERDT) and Commission on Higher Education (CHED). The researchers also recognize the effort of Engr. Jessa Leigh Mordeno who conducted the analytical testing of the samples.
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