Direct reduction of iron: a review on midrex and HYL patentes


Ironmaking is the major energy consuming and CO2-emmiting step in steel production. Direct reduction processes are an alternative to the traditional blast furnace due to the use of H2 in the reducing gases, generating less CO2. There are two main technologies for direct reduction of iron: Midrex and Energiron (or HYL), which are responsible for 80% of the DRI production. A review on the patents published by the two companies was performed and it was possible to describe the functioning of both process, the developments over the years and to distinguish the differences. Both process are based on shaft furnaces in which reducing gases flow in countercurrent to iron ore pellets heating them and reducing iron. The reducing gases are generated by catalytic reform of methane. Reforming in Midrex happens mainly by reaction with CO2 and in Energiron with H2O. There is a process version without a reformer, the Energiron ZR. In this process natural gas is injected together with CO2 and H2O in the reduction reactor and the newly reduced iron works as catalyst for reforming reactions.

RIBEIRO, T.R.; FERREIRA , J.B.; TAKANO, C., POÇO, J.G.R. Direct reduction of iron: a review on midrex and HYL patentes. In: SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRIAL PROCESSING SUMMIT, 2015, Antalya, Turkey. Proceedings… 18p.

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