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Driving investments in ore beneficiation and scrap upgrading to meet an increased demand from the direct reduction-EAF route

Rutger Gyllenram (), Niloofar Arzpeyma, Wenjing Wei and Pär G. Jönsson
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Rutger Gyllenram: Royal Institute of Technology
Niloofar Arzpeyma: Kobolde & Partners AB
Wenjing Wei: Royal Institute of Technology
Pär G. Jönsson: Royal Institute of Technology

Mineral Economics, 2022, vol. 35, issue 2, No 2, 203-220

Abstract: Abstract The pressure on the steel industry to reduce its carbon footprint has led to discussions to replace coke as the main reductant for iron ore and turn to natural gas, bio-syngas or hydrogen. Such a major transition from the blast furnace-basic oxygen furnace route, to the direct reduction-electric arc furnace route, for steel production would drastically increase the demand for both suitable iron ore pellets and high-quality scrap. The value for an EAF plant to reduce the SiO2 content in DRI by 2 percentage points and the dirt content of scrap by 0.3 percentage points Si was estimated by using the optimization and calculation tool RAWMATMIX®. Three plant types were studied: (i) an integrated plant using internal scrap, (ii) a plant using equal amounts of scrap and DRI and (iii) a plant using a smaller fraction of DRI in relation to the scrap amount. Also, the slag volume for each plant type was studied. Finally, the cost for upgrading was estimated based on using mainly heuristic values. A conservative estimation of the benefit of decreasing the silica content in DRI from 4 to 2% is 20 USD/t DRI or 15 USD/t DR pellets and a conservative figure for the benefit of decreasing the dirt in scrap by 0.3 percentage points Si is 9 USD/t scrap. An estimate on the costs for the necessary ore beneficiation is 2.5 USD/t pellet concentrate and for a scrap upgrade, it is 1-2 USD/t scrap.

Keywords: DRI; Ore beneficiation; Scrap upgrading; Slag volume (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: Q30 Q31 Q40 Q54 Q55 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
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DOI: 10.1007/s13563-021-00267-2

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