2013 Volume 53 Issue 6 Pages 1097-1105
Recycling iron–bearing dust from steel mills has gained a considerable attention in the past two decades to recover the valuable metals in dust while improving the sustainability of steel production. As a method for extracting the metals from dust, the reduction of dust–carbon composite agglomerates using a rotary hearth furnace (RHF) has been practiced in the steel industry. The use of low–grade carbonaceous reductants, such as low–rank coal and waste plastic, is of steelmakers’ interest to further enhance the waste recycling using the RHF process. However, applying these materials as reductants has proven to be a challenging task since the impact of the released volatile gas from such reductants on reduction reactions is not predictable. In addition, the reduction kinetics of dust pellet in RHF is more complicated than the reaction behaviour of sintered ore in blast furnace due to the higher furnace temperature, faster reduction and rapid gas evolution inside the agglomerate. To predict the reaction behaviour of the dust–carbon composite in RHF, a mathematical model was developed. The model takes into consideration heat and mass transfer as well as the reduction reaction of iron and zinc oxides, gasification of carbon and release of volatiles. The simulated behaviour of a dust pellet by the proposed model provides beneficial information to promote recycling an expanded range of waste materials in the RHF process. The modelling approach and calculation results are discussed in the present paper.