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New Trends in the Application of Carbon-Bearing Materials in Blast Furnace Iron-Making

Minerals and Metallurgical Engineering (MiMeR), Luleå University of Technology, 971 87 Luleå, Sweden
Central Metallurgical Research and Development Institute (CMRDI); P.O. Box 87, Helwan, 11421 Cairo, Egypt
Minerals 2018, 8(12), 561;
Received: 11 October 2018 / Revised: 26 November 2018 / Accepted: 29 November 2018 / Published: 1 December 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Towards Sustainability in Extractive Metallurgy)
PDF [3583 KB, uploaded 13 December 2018]


The iron and steel industry is still dependent on fossil coking coal. About 70% of the total steel production relies directly on fossil coal and coke inputs. Therefore, steel production contributes by ~7% of the global CO2 emission. The reduction of CO2 emission has been given highest priority by the iron- and steel-making sector due to the commitment of governments to mitigate CO2 emission according to Kyoto protocol. Utilization of auxiliary carbonaceous materials in the blast furnace and other iron-making technologies is one of the most efficient options to reduce the coke consumption and, consequently, the CO2 emission. The present review gives an insight of the trends in the applications of auxiliary carbon-bearing material in iron-making processes. Partial substitution of top charged coke by nut coke, lump charcoal, or carbon composite agglomerates were found to not only decrease the dependency on virgin fossil carbon, but also improve the blast furnace performance and increase the productivity. Partial or complete substitution of pulverized coal by waste plastics or renewable carbon-bearing materials like waste plastics or biomass help in mitigating the CO2 emission due to its high H2 content compared to fossil carbon. Injecting such reactive materials results in improved combustion and reduced coke consumption. Moreover, utilization of integrated steel plant fines and gases becomes necessary to achieve profitability to steel mill operation from both economic and environmental aspects. Recycling of such results in recovering the valuable components and thereby decrease the energy consumption and the need of landfills at the steel plants as well as reduce the consumption of virgin materials and reduce CO2 emission. On the other hand, developed technologies for iron-making rather than blast furnace opens a window and provide a good opportunity to utilize auxiliary carbon-bearing materials that are difficult to utilize in conventional blast furnace iron-making. View Full-Text
Keywords: alternative reducing agent; iron-making; blast furnace; biomass; waste plastic; in-plant fines; recycling; CO2 emission alternative reducing agent; iron-making; blast furnace; biomass; waste plastic; in-plant fines; recycling; CO2 emission

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Ahmed, H. New Trends in the Application of Carbon-Bearing Materials in Blast Furnace Iron-Making. Minerals 2018, 8, 561.

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