Sponge iron/DRI has gained great prominence in world as a substitute of steel scrap (partially) in steel making in electric arc furnace and in induction furnace.
Direct Reduction is a metallurgical process of producing sponge iron from iron oxides (mainly from lump iron ores or pellets) directly in the solid phase. The product of this solid state route has a honeycomb structure with minute pores. Hence this product is most commonly known as sponge iron/direct reduced iron (DRI).
This product is in three types of A (Hot-molded briquettes), B (Lumps, Pellets and cold-molded briquettes) and C (by-product fines), with moisture content up to 0.3 percent.
- Using natural gas and agglomerated iron ore makes the process simple
- The packed reactor with the counter-current flow of reactants provides a high efficiency
- The process is highly flexible with regards to iron ore reducing gas sources
The demand of sponge iron is increasing day by day because of following reasons:
- Reduced availability of consistent quality steel scrap.
- Fluctuation in steel scrap price.
- Consistent quality of sponge iron with absence of tramp like copper, tin, arsenic, chromium, nickel, lead and etc.
- Relatively firm sponge iron price.
- High iron content and high degree of metallization
- Minimum dust generation during material handling
- Known sponge iron composition leads to accurate end point steel making.
- Viable and sponge iron manufacturing due to its captive generation.
- Use of higher percentage of sponge iron in the charge mix of induction furnace (IF) and electric Arc Furnace steel making.
In the year of 2014 I.R.Iran by producing more than 14.5 million tons after India and standing upon countries such as Mexico and Qatar is the biggest producer of sponge Iron in the world.
The main reason of high rate of production in few countries is refer to gas and coal resources as the main factor of energy production for direct reduction.
In India about 70% of sponge Iron production is perform by using of coal and the 30% by using of gas. The rest of the mentioned countries use gas as the thermal resource.
From 10 years before the production of DRI has been doubled and anticipate by utilizing of 8 under construction factories in 2 years ahead, Iran become the biggest producer of sponge iron in the world.
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