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Title: Two-zone countercurrent smelter system and process

A process for continuously smelting iron ore by use of coal to yield molten iron or semi-steel is disclosed. The process comprises the steps of establishing a melt covered by slag; inducing the slag and the molten iron to flow countercurrently to one another, toward opposite ends of the smelter; maintaining iron oxide-reducing conditions in that zone of the smelter towards which the slag flows; maintaining carbon-oxidizing conditions in that zone of the smelter towards which the molten iron flows; continuously or semicontinuously tapping the slag from the reducing zone end of the smelter; continuously or semicontinuously tapping the molten iron from the oxidizing zone end of the smelter; and adding to both zones iron ore, coal, oxygen, and flux at addition rates sufficient to keep the molten iron in the reducing zone substantially saturated with carbon, maintain in the slag being tapped an FeO content of about 5 weight percent or less, and maintain in the molten iron being tapped a carbon content of about 0.5 to 5 weight percent. A slag dam preferably is included in the smelter, to impede the backflow of the slag from the reducing zone to the oxidizing zone. A metal bath dam withmore » one or more flow-through portals also is preferably used, submerged below the slag dam, to impede the backflow of the hot metal.« less
 [1];  [2];  [3]
  1. (Toronto, CA)
  2. (Murrysville, PA)
  3. (late of Winchester, MA)
Issue Date:
OSTI Identifier:
United States of America as represented by Department of Energy (Washington, DC) IDO
Patent Number(s):
US 5378260
Contract Number:
Research Org:
American Iron and Steel Inst., Pittsburgh, PA (United States)
Country of Publication:
United States
two-zone; countercurrent; smelter; process; continuously; smelting; iron; coal; yield; molten; semi-steel; disclosed; comprises; steps; establishing; melt; covered; slag; inducing; flow; countercurrently; opposite; maintaining; oxide-reducing; conditions; zone; towards; flows; carbon-oxidizing; semicontinuously; tapping; reducing; oxidizing; adding; zones; oxygen; flux; addition; rates; sufficient; substantially; saturated; carbon; maintain; tapped; feo; content; weight; percent; dam; preferably; included; impede; backflow; metal; bath; flow-through; portals; submerged; below; hot; oxidizing conditions; weight percent; iron oxide; process comprises; hot metal; molten iron; reducing conditions; carbon content; smelting iron; /75/266/