Evaluation of a new process for ironmaking: A productivity model for the Rotary Hearth Furnace

Otavio Fortini, Richard Fruehan

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6 Scopus citations


In order to address the key issues of capital costs and CO2 emissions in ironmaking operations, a new process was proposed combining a Rotary Hearth Furnace (RHF) and a Bath Smelter. This paper describes the construction of a productivity model for the RHF based on previous studies concerning the reduction behaviour of pellets of carbon and iron oxides. The model was used to estimate changes in RHF productivity according to the type of carbon used in the RHF pellets, numbers of layers of pellets, final metallization degree of the direct reduced iron (DRI) produced, and initial sizes of the pellets. The results indicate that productivity gains between 33 and 46% can be achieved replacing coal with wood charcoal, a carbon source virtually free of net CO2 emissions. Also, the productivity of the RHF can be doubled by reducing the charge only up to 70% metallization. The model allows the study of changes in overall energy consumption due to changes in the extent of primary oxidation of the gas at the pellet level showing that the use of wood charcoal increases the total amount of carbon consumed by less than five percent relative to operations with coal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)625-631
Number of pages7
JournalSteel Research International
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Carbon dioxide emissions
  • Direct reduced iron
  • Direct reduction
  • Ironmaking
  • New processes
  • Renewable energy
  • Rotary hearth furnace
  • Wood charcoal


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