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Marzia Hoque Tania

Iron Ores: Hematite (Fe2O3) Magnetite(Fe3O4)

Blast furnace existed in China about 5th century

Early modern blast furnaces

Medieval Europe
Fig: First blast furnace of Germany

Coke Blast Furnace

Modern Blast Furnace

To chemically reduce & physically convert iron oxides into liquid iron called hot metal.


is analogous to Chemical Reactor.


is a huge, steel stack lined with refractory brick.

An impure substance goes in the top. & comes out pure at the bottom.



Iron Ore Coke & Limestone

Iron oxides raw ore, pellets or sinter

Iron ore, pellets & sinter - produced in blast furnace Remaining impurities liquid iron

liquid slag


from earth and sized into pieces

- either Hematite (Fe2O3) or Magnetite (Fe3O4) - iron content: ranges from 50% to 70%.
-rich ore -charged directly into blast furnace without any further processing


-produced from lower iron content

ore. - ore is crushed & ground into a powder to remove gangue. - remaining iron-rich powder is rolled into balls & - fired in a furnace Strong, marble-sized pellets are produced contain 60% to 65% iron.

Sinter- produced from fine raw ore, small coke, sand-sized limestone & numerous other steel plant waste materials that contain some iron.


is produced from a mixture of coals - high energy value is kept at temperature continuously. Source of heat



- provides permeability, heat and gases



- Oxygen should be removed

Iron Ore (Iron Oxide)

Metallic Iron

- Chemical detachment of Oxygen atoms from Iron Oxide-


Source of Reducing gas

- Reduces & melts the iron ore, pellets and


Acts as Flux or Purifying agent to assist in removing other impurities in Iron Ore. Flux: pure high calcium limestone, dolomitic limestone containing magnesia, or blend of limestone. -Limestone is melted - slag removes sulphur and other impurities - Blast furnace operator may blend different stones to produce the desired slag to create optimum properties e.g. low melting point, high fluidity


Supplies Oxygen

Combusts Coke

- prompts Chemical Reduction of Iron Oxide

All raw materials are stored in an ore field transferred to the stockhouse before charging Charging into furnace topnumerous chemical and physical reactions descending to the bottom of the furnace.

Iron ore, pellets & sinter are reduced - oxygen in iron oxides is removed


to Soften, Melt & finally trickle as Liquid


Chemical reagents that change Iron Oxide to metallic iron are from CokeCO & CO2 coke descends to the bottom of furnace where preheated air or hot blast enters blast furnace coke is ignited by this hot blast
Production of Reducing gas:

C (coke) + O2 (air)= CO2 CO2+ C (excess coke) = 2CO

Limestone descends in the blast furnace Remains solid CaCO3 = CaO + CO2 - requires energy & starts at 875C. - CaO further is used to remove sulphur from iron which is necessary before hot metal becomes steel. FeS + CaO + C = CaS + FeO + CO - CaS becomes part of the slag.


is also formed from any remaining Silica (SiO2), Alumina (Al2O3), Magnesia (MgO) or Calcia (CaO) - entered with iron ore, pellets, sinter or coke.


slag > dropped > through Coke bed > bottom of furnace - less dense > floats on top of liquid iron

In addition to molten iron & slag- hot dirty gases - exit the top of the blast furnace - proceed through gas cleaning equipment - particulate matter is removed from gas - gas is cooled

It has a considerable energy value - burned as fuel in "hot blast stoves : used to preheat the air entering the blast furnace to become "hot blast". Gas not burned in the stoves is sent to boiler house - used to generate steam which turns a turbo blower - generates compressed air, "cold blast" that comes to the stoves.

Combustion of Coke


C(s) + O2(g) CO2(g) + heat CO2(g) + C(s) 2CO(g) H2O + C => H2 + CO (DH = +31.4 Kcal) 2C + O2 => 2CO (DH = 58.3 Kcal)

CaCO3(s) + heat CaO(s) + CO2(g)

Slag formation

CaO(s) + SiO2(s) CaSiO3(l) (slag) CaO(s) + Al2O3(s) Ca(AlO2)2(l) SiO2 + 2C => Si + 2CO (DH = +145 Kcal) FeS + CaO + C => CaS + Fe + CO (DH = +34.8 Kcal) P2O5 + 5C => 2P + 5CO (DH = +234 Kcal) MnO + C => Mn + CO (DH = +64.4 Kcal)

Reduction of Fe2O3

2Fe2O3(s) + 3C(s) 4Fe(l) + 3CO2(g) Fe2O3(s) + 3CO(g) 4Fe(l) + 3CO2(g) 3Fe2O3 + CO => 2Fe3O4 + CO2 (DH = -27.8 Kcal) 2Fe2O3 + 8CO => 7CO2 + Fe + C (DH = -67.9 Kcal) Fe3O4 + CO => 3FeO + CO2 (DH = +5.9 Kcal) FeO + CO => Fe + CO2 (DH = 3.9 Kcal)

Feed of ore, limestone & coke Exhaust gases Column of ore, coke & limestone Removal of slag

Collection of waste gases Pre-heating zone Reduction zone of ferric oxide

Reduction zone of ferrous oxide

Melting Zone Tapping of molten pig iron Hot Blast

260 C 480 C 600 C 750 C

1350 C 1350 C 1700 C

2000 C


substance e.g. iron ore is continuously dumped into the top.


air (sometimes with oxygen enrichment) is blown into the bottom of the chamber.

So the chemical reactions take place throughout the furnace as the material moves downward. The end products are usually molten metal & slag phases tapped from the bottom, & Flue gases exiting from the top of the furnace.


furnacesolids descend & gases ascend.


Iron is tapped at the bottom of Furnace: Pig Iron - high carbon content - not suitable for engineering material - brittle & weak

-must be refined.


product: hot metal